If there is one thing that the US voters can thank for, it’s the fact that both presidential candidates this coming November election have expressed support to fixing the United States of America’s aging infrastructure.
The US investing on infrastructure is equivalent to the US investing in itself – for the country’s self-growth and fiscal development. This is basically because capitalizing on public utilities will not only improve the way of life of the general populace – it will also generate employment.
According to studies, more than 14 million jobs in the US are directly lined up to infrastructure. That’s about 11% of the civilian workforce in the country.
It’s a win-win solution if proper infrastructure asset management plans are put in place – and a tragic risk if the issue is neglected.
Now, what do the two presidential aspirants have to say regarding US infrastructure?
Recognizing the dismal state of US infrastructure, Hillary Clinton’s stance on the issue took shape when she announced that she is planning to create a $275 billion five-year plan to rehabilitate the crumbling public utilities of America. She also added that she intends to realize this plan in the first 100 days of her office.
In a nutshell, Hillary plans on infrastructure include:
- Repair and expansion of roads and bridges for road improvement, minimization of road congestion, and slashing of the silent “pothole tax”.
- Expansion of public transport options in order to lower transportation costs and expand economic opportunities of the working people.
- Affordable internet connection and free Wi-Fi to public places and public transportation.
- Modernization of the national airspace system and a shift to more world-class and environment-friendly airports through rehabilitation and upgrades.
- Investment on USA’s clean energy potential by streamlining public utilities like water pipes, wastewater systems, dams, and levees, leading to billions of savings in term of clean drinking water and utilization of clean energy.
The builder of various casinos, hotels, and other luxury buildings now wants to rebuild a better, greater America. And Donald Trump wants to do it with twice the budget that Clinton proposed, saying that her $275 billion projection on infrastructure improvements is but a fraction of what’s actually needed.
Although Trump has not provided any specifics regarding his more or less $500 billion infrastructure plan, he is confident that his long experience in real estate will let him have brought more headway when it comes to American infrastructure.
His main areas of improvement include restoration and rebuilding of bridges, roads, tunnels, railways, seaports, and airports.
Right now, we know that these are just plain rhetoric until we witness the day of reckoning when either of these two candidates starts developing infrastructure asset management plans and actually get their ideas up and running.
The proposed budget might come as an opportunity to spend-fest for some. But given the aging US infrastructure today, it might be high time that our leaders do.