Make It in America: The Economyby Representative Tim Ryan
Posted on 2013-03-12
RYAN of Ohio. If the gentleman would yield too, I'd just comment
on the infrastructure piece.
So here we are today, needs abound in the country, both rail, combined [[Page H1346]] sewer, highways, bridges--I mean, each of our counties, you pull out how many bridges in our counties aren't up to specs; I think it's like 50 or 60 just in one of my bigger counties.
These projects are only going to get more expensive. The energy costs going in are going to get more expensive, the labor costs are going to get more expensive. Everything associated, the materials, everything associated with what needs to get done is going to become more expensive. So I think the good business move, on behalf of the taxpayer, would be to get this done now, get people back to work.
And I recognize that we're still running deficits. But the interest rate at which we're borrowing the money is minimal, 1, 2 percent.
So we're going to wait. Here's what's going to happen. We're going to wait. Accidents are going to happen, bridges are going to collapse, things are going to just need to get done, and then these local governments, State governments, we're going to have to go out and borrow the money at 4 or 5 percent, as opposed to 1 or 2.
So I think as we're thinking about this, it's not that we're sitting here saying, oh geez, we don't have anything better to do, let's just spend a bunch of government money. No, these are strategic investments. Like in Virginia, they're going to increase productivity so people aren't sitting in their cars. They're more productive, have a higher quality of life, more time with their families, all these things that we say are very important.
So, to your point, we're going backwards, because at some point this stuff's got to get done.