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PSA Infrastructure Advocacy and Education Organization (PSA-IAEO):

America’s Future depends on its Infrastructure!

The PSA Infrastructure Advocacy and Education Organization’s (PSA-IAEO) mission is to educate the general public and elected officials on the importance of increasing public and private funding for roads and bridges, transit, water and wastewater, energy, aviation and rail projects. This includes funding from government sources at the federal, state, municipal, county and town level as well as expansion of private funding participation through public-private ventures.

PSA-IAEO’s Eric Rothman’s interview on New Construction Strategies Radio several years ago outlines our position on numerous crucial issues: Download File  “Given the fiscal realities we are facing right now I think the national infrastructure bank is really the only way to meet the needs of the infrastructure and put large numbers of people back to work.”

Contractors Hotline OP-ED by Eric Rothman:

Will the recent election results lead to more federal investment in transportation infrastructure?  

As a decades long advocate for increased federal funding in transportation I have always believed that the condition of roads, bridges and other physical assets greatly affects the economy’s ability to function and grow.  Commerce requires well-maintained roads, railroads, airports, and ports so that manufacturers can obtain raw materials and parts and deliver finished products to consumers.  Improving many types of public infrastructure boosts the productivity of businesses by reducing their costs.   Better roads and public transit make it feasible and more efficient for workers to get from their home communities to more of the places where the jobs are.

Though Republicans and Democrats currently disagree on a wide variety of policy proposals, members of both parties have, at time, been supportive of infrastructure spending.

“The Democrats are likely to push plans for large-scale infrastructure spending. Republicans have generally opposed Democratic plans on this issue, but President Trump has expressed support for infrastructure spending and might be willing to help,” notes HSBC Bank Chief U.S. economist Kevin Logan.

In a recent post-election news conference, the president said he and Democrats “have a lot of things in common on infrastructure.” Ever since launching his White House bid the president had lambasted what he’s categorized as “horrible infrastructure problems” throughout the United States.

Newly energized Democrats are ready to pass a “pretty big, bold bill” and help pay for it by raising the federal gasoline tax for the first time in 25 years says Ray LaHood, former US Secretary of Transportation and currently co-chairman of the Building America’s Future coalition, which pushes for a new era in infrastructure investment.  The federal gas tax has been 18.4 cents, 24.4 cents for diesel, since it was last raised in 1993.

Back in February, there were reports that Trump was signaling a willingness to consider a federal gas tax hike to bolster the cash-strapped Highway Trust Fund, which is Washington’s primary mechanism for funding transportation infrastructure.  Analysts say that the HTF is facing insolvency, and that without a rise in the gas tax or other additional funding sources, it could run out of money as soon as 2021.

Another proposal that has seen some support in Congress is a National Infrastructure Bank. Such a bank would be a government-owned corporation and, like the TIFIA loan program, would provide cheap, long-term financing for infrastructure projects.  Supporters such as I have argued that this could overcome the fractured nature of local spending, help coordinate developments that cross state borders, and give Washington greater ability to prioritize important projects.

Both raising the federal fuel tax and establishing a national infrastructure bank are long overdue measures in my view.  If you agree I urge you to contact your Members of Congress as well as President Trump and demand action.  After decades of talk, empty promises and reshuffling of power it’s time our political leaders act in the vital national interest and fully fund transportation infrastructure using all available public and private mechanisms.

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