Are Better Roads Worth The Money To You?
What Are Better Roads Worth to You?
There is a raging debate in Washington, and across the country, with respect to the Trump administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure proposal. What started out as a major rallying platform for Trump during his presidential campaign is beginning to attract skeptics as it comes to fruition. “Roads and bridges need fixing, workers need jobs, and the proposal has bipartisan appeal,” explains MSNBC’s Jane Timm, but, “Accomplishing it as president? Not so easy.”
Trump and Co. trumpet the importance of interstate commerce and fast, efficient transcontinental transport. Trump believes that to make America great again, the government needs to improve the condition of our public roads system which is in disarray.
While most agree he has the right intentions with respect to infrastructure, not everyone is convinced that committing such a massive amount of federal funds is in the best interests of an America that has equally pressing needs that may be of greater significance.
But, the president claims he has the support of those who know more about the state of America’s roads and highways than anyone: truckers.
In response to whether or not he would be open to a significant fuel tax in order to fund his proposal the president told Bloomberg News, “It’s something that I would certainly consider.” Addressing the fact that a large portion of the fuel tax would be paid by over-the-road trucking companies — which are generally looking to cut costs as opposed to increasing them — President Trump told Bloomberg he would get the backing of truckers “if we earmarked money toward the highways.”
In addition to improving roads, highways and thoroughfares, the president promises the project will bolster the economy by creating new jobs, as “a robust infrastructure program would create millions of new jobs — many of them permanent jobs.”
A report by Anthony P. Carnevale and Nicole Smith, Georgetown University’s “Center on Education and the Workforce,” indicates that Trump may be right. “It seems reasonably clear that infrastructure jobs are good jobs… and bring long-term economic and social gains for the rest of us.”
But, no surprise, there are skeptics who do not believe the plan will generate anywhere that kind of economic stimulation. For one, claims David Levinson, a transportation analyst, and professor at the University of Minnesota, “Right now, unemployment is extremely low. Anyone who works on these new privately financed infrastructure projects is likely to be employed already — this would just be shifting jobs around, not creating new jobs.”
While many of Washington’s softer skeptics are arguing over the plausibility to the numbers, more hard-line opponents of the plan argue that while road repairs, additional routes, and new highways and thoroughfares reduce traffic congestion and the fuel inefficiency associated with stop-and-go driving, channeling that much of the federal budget toward infrastructure diverts America’s attention from a far more dire issue: fossil fuel emissions that lead to global warming.
Obama, especially those who did not agree with his environmental policy will agree, made the reduction of greenhouse gases a priority. His policies encouraged the development of alternative power-fueled vehicles and emissions-reduction devices, like the Rentar Fuel Catalyst and other high-return technologies, that lessen the strain the environment endures as a result of fuel combustion inefficiencies in both the private and public sectors.
Regardless of whether or not President Trump is successful in his venture to dedicate $1 trillion to the nation’s infrastructure or not, he would be wise to take measures to ensure critical environmental policy is not ignored — or scrapped altogether — or he risks alienating some of his staunchest supporters.