They announced this cooperation a few weeks ago but have now gained momentum in their cause, and attention of America's beleaguered progressives and pragmatists who have been saying since 9/11 and before that America needs to rethink transportation, urban planning, and the infrastructure crumbling under every American taxpayer's feet.
Gov. Schwarzenegger said:
America needs $1.6 trillion worth of infrastructure over the next five years yet federal investment has been cut in half as a percent of gross domestic product since 1987. This is disastrous because without adequate infrastructure to quickly and safely move goods and people our economy and our traffic will stop dead in its tracks.
Gov. Ed Rendell said:
In the past 20 years, state and local governments have been forced to pay more and more of the cost for infrastructure repairs and expansion. Three-quarters of our nation’s infrastructure spending is by state and local governments. In the past five years Pennsylvania has increased state funding for bridge repairs by 300 percent, yet the number of structurally deficient bridges has increased. Our country can’t do it without federal leadership.
Mayor Bloomberg said:
Sound infrastructure is critical to American competiveness, quality of life, environmental sustainability and public safety. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave U.S. infrastructure a “D” letter grade and estimates that over the next 5 years the U.S. will need $1.6 trillion of infrastructure just to raise it to a passing level. This is an issue that crosses party lines and we need significant federal investments now to ensure the safety of our citizens and economic prosperity of our nation.
This engineers report they are talking about can be found here: http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/index
The $1.6 trillion over 5 years is just to get America's infrastructure to a C-. To get to a B- will take $2.2 trillion in 2009 dollars. America and her leaders have lived off the massive investments made to end the Great Depression, Interstate highway defense project building her freeways, and other large investments in the 1950s and 60s. Since then spending has been pathetic. In China they spend 9% to 11% of GDP on infrastructure. In Europe they spend 5%. Reagan was the first President ever to decimate the infrastructure spending to a paltry 8 year average of his term to 1.8%, of which it has never recovered and Republicans go apoplectic on the mere mention of reinvesting in America. Very unfortunate, but now the US is facing a future as a 2nd rate country trying to compete against world class cities and countries with modern, clean, efficient, reliable, infrastructure.
Finally we have politicians waking up to this fact to start to deal with these issues that have been ignored for a generation.
[Edited 2010-02-23 16:09:59]