Letters

To the Editor:

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the need for new U.S. infrastructure investment is $5 trillion. We applaud Congress passing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, but it includes only $550 billion of new spending, one-tenth of what is required.

We urge Congress to create a $5 trillion National Infrastructure Bank, as outlined in HR3339 in the U.S. House.

This $5 trillion public bank requires no new federal spending or taxes. It will repurpose existing Treasury debt, and will finance all the needed projects.

Great presidents have deployed similar banks to build public works, including George Washington, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.

The infrastructure needs of Ohio are daunting. According to the ASCE, some of the urgent problems include:

· $12.2 billion to upgrade the drinking water systems, and $14.6 billion to upgrade waste water systems

· Driving on roads in poor repair costs each driver $545 a year

· Traffic congestion costs motorists an estimated $4.7 billion each year in lost time and wasted fuel

· Rail transportation requires new passenger lines and high speed service

The National Infrastructure Bank can address this staggering need. It will create tens of millions of new jobs, pay Davis-Bacon wages and mandate Buy American policies. It will supercharge the economy and reopen industry. It will ensure robust minority hiring, promote disadvantaged business enterprises and spawn a resurgence of small business.

China spends 8% of its GDP on infrastructure, Europe 5%. We spend barely 2%. Is it any wonder that our infrastructure is ranked 13th in the world?

There is massive support for this policy. Endorsements include: A bi-partisan resolution in the Ohio House of Representatives (HR 19), Akron Council, Toledo Council, Cleveland Council, Lucas County Commissioners, Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, IBEW Local 245, UA Local 50, Western Reserve Building and Construction Trades, Bricklayers Local 7.

Rep. Lisa Sobecki, Toledo

Sen. Teresa Fedor, Toledo

Theresa Allen, Chair, All Aboard Ohio

Tim Brown, President TMACOG

Tim Porter, Chairman Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association

Tom Galloway, Labor Chairman, Toledo Area Jobs with Justice

Jerry Wicks, Ph.D., Director, Ohio Higher Education Rail Network

Robert Lynn Jr., Market Recovery Specialist UA Local 50 Plumbers, Steamfitters Toledo

Tom Kovacik, Executive Director, Transportation Advocacy Group of Northwest Ohio

Mike Friedman, Democratic State Central Committee, District 11, Toledo

Bill Gill, Chairman, National Train Day - Toledo

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