Tuesday, July 12, 2011 6:47 PM
Getting Congress off the Dime
Three years ago, when the economy went into the tank, the caretakers of our nation reacted with brave promises of spending programs to drag us back to health. At that time, though I was not in favor of writing checks our children would have to cover, I commented that to the extent these monies were applied to correcting our long-neglected infrastructure, at least they would realize some benefit from the process. Little did I know that the monies I thought bound for this purpose would instead go to reward those whose excesses played a major role in leading us to where we are today...but that’s water long over the dam.
Suffice it to say that far from merely languishing, our infrastructure deficiencies grow worse by the day, with no clear signal from Congress or the administration of a will much less a movement to relieve the morass.
This situation is brought into bold relief by the continued inactivity of Congress where both the Senate Environment & Public Works and the House Transportation & Infrastructure committees, with fewer than 90 days left in the fiscal year to come up with a transportation plan, continued to waffle around. This lack of action could, in the words of the Senate’s chairperson, Barbara Boxer, lead to the loss of 490,000 jobs. Why? Because in the absence of added funding to that contained in the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), spending would plummet by a third—from $41 million to $27 billion in 2012—and guess what sector gets to eat that loss?
What Can We Do?
Clearly it’s time to change the experiment, and this time we have vehicles for doing so. Both the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) and American Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) Association offer programs taking dead aim on infrastructure issues that are critical to your future, and while both AEM’s and AED’s interest lie in increased equipment sales, it’s you, along with the entire construction industry, who will be the foremost beneficiaries of their efforts, so please take the time to go to I Make America and AED Action and follow the instructions.