“Today, I am announcing an aggressive infrastructure agenda will create at least 3 million jobs over the next decade. After the failed levees in New Orleans, the tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota, we don’t need any more devastating wake up calls. And you don’t have to look any further than the problems you had with I-95 to know that we have to take action now. We’re trying to run today’s economy on yesterday’s infrastructure – our bridges, our tunnels, our roads, our water systems and so much else – and we are jeopardizing American prosperity. So I will rebuild America by rebuilding, repairing and modernizing our infrastructure,” Clinton said.
Her plan involves the creation of what she calls a National Infrastructure Bank. “My Rebuild America plan will create a $10 billion Emergency Fund to identify and repair critical infrastructure problems. “We’ll modernize our transportation systems. We’ve got a lot of transportation and transit workers here and I’m proud to have your support. We’re going to invest in public transit and inter-city rail. We’re going to connect America with a national broadband infrastructure. All of our communication workers, our electrical workers, we need to have super information highway the way we have an interstate highway system so every part of America gets connected up, part of the global economy. We’ll create a National Infrastructure Bank and I will use bonding authority to make these long-term investments.”
“Think about it, in World War II we had War Bonds. Maybe it’s time we ask Americans if they want to play a part in rebuilding America. I think millions and millions of Americans will make those contributions. Then we’re going to turn around and put them into projects that will strengthen our economy and create room for that economy to grow. We can put at least 3 million Americans to work…,” she said.
The idea of selling infrastructure bonds is an interesting one. It is a much better option that the Republican solution to everything, which is to borrow money from China.
My question is what would the federal government’s role be in this plan? Would the federal government raise the money, and then distribute it to states and localities, or would these be federal projects? I am not too keen on the idea of a massive federal project. I would rather see the federal government distribute the money and let state and local governments pick their own projects.
State and local officials have a much better idea of their needs than the federal government ever could, but my biggest concern is that if the federal government is in charge, the whole plan runs the risk of becoming a giant pork barrel project. I think Clinton is on to something here, but this idea would sink or swim based on who is in charge.