Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wasn't this supposed to be one of the benefits of the stimulus bill?

The United States has a rapidly decaying and woefully underfunded transportation system that will undermine its status in the global economy unless innovative reforms are undertaken, a bipartisan panel of experts concluded in a report released yesterday.

U.S. investment in preservation and development of transportation infrastructure lags so far behind that of China, Russia and European countries that it will lead to "a steady erosion of the social and economic foundations for American prosperity in the long run."

That is a central conclusion in a report issued on behalf of about 80 transportation experts who met for three days in September 2009 at the University of Virginia. Few of their conclusions were ground-breaking, but the weight of their credentials lends gravity to their findings.

The group - whose co-chairmen were two former secretaries of transportation, Norman Mineta and Samuel Skinner - estimated that an additional $134 billion to $262 billion must be spent per year through 2035 to rebuild and improve roads, rail systems and air transportation.

Seriously - - weren't the stimulus funds supposed to be spent on "shovel ready transportation projects"?

Of course, they ended up being spent on raises for public sector employees represented by unions that backed Obama in 2008.

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