What They Are Saying: National Infrastructure Bank is Needed to Repair and Modernize America’s Infrastructure

The time for action is now - America’s infrastructure is crumbling and urgently needs to be repaired and modernized.

Bob Darbelnet, President and CEO, AAA: "AAA supports President Obama's effort to focus on transportation investment as a positive way to further accelerate economic recovery and enhance our nation's global competitiveness. The backlog of transportation needs and the benefits of transportation investment have been clearly demonstrated in recent years.” (Statement by AAA President and CEO Bob Darbelnet. American Automotive Association, 9/6/10)

Neal Peirce, Seattle Times: “Amen! While the world races down the investment expansion track, we're constantly shortchanging decaying bridges, aging interstates, antiquated water systems and high-speed rail serious enough to one day rival Europe, Japan or China. A serious infrastructure bank could start weaning us away from congressional pork-barrel spending and our "silo" pattern of funding infrastructure: roads and transit, airports, waterways and railways in separate buckets." (We ignore the president's infrastructure bank proposal at our peril. Seattle Times, 9/19/10)

Minneapolis Star Tribune Editorial: Once transportation officials and bridge inspectors assured residents of dozens of major U.S. cities that the 35W failure was not systemic, the U.S. infrastructure debate became mostly background noise. Infrastructure isn't headline news for CNN or Fox -- except when it's falling apart -- and attention spans are short. (Editorial: Build country's future or watch it fall down. Star Tribune. 7/25/08)

Infrastructure will help create new jobs and ensure long-term economic prosperity.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour: “[M]any of us Republicans who were for a stimulus package [believe there] should have been a whole lot more on infrastructure...We could have created many more jobs. But it is filled with social policy… Not enough infrastructure.” (Hannity: Interview with Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour. Fox News. 7/7/09)

Samuel J. Palmisano, CEO of IBM: “Smarter infrastructure is by far our best path to creating new jobs and stimulating growth.” (Let's Spend on Broadband and the Power Grid. Wall Street Journal. 1/13/09)

Michael Likosky, Author of “Obama’s Bank”: Like these stimulus act programs, the Infrastructure Bank can relay the foundation of our economy through progressive long term projects that are synced up with a medium term business cycle - allowing firms to plan ahead, which is essential for retaining and creating good jobs. Investing in what will make America competitive, a job producer, a promoter of equal opportunity, and an ensurer of national security. (An Infrastructure Bank: Reinvesting in America, The Huffington Post, 09/11/10)

A National Infrastructure Bank is an effective vehicle for reform; ensuring projects of national and regional importance are funded based on merit, not politics.

Former Ambassador Felix G. Rohatyn:  A national infrastructure bank could begin to reverse federal policies that treat infrastructure as a way to give states and localities resources for projects that meet local political objectives rather than national economic ones. (Felix G. Rohatyn: The Case for an Infrastructure Bank. Wall Street Journal, 9/15/10)

Washington Post Editorial: An infrastructure bank, structured with some degree of political independence, could add a welcome degree of rationality to the existing hodgepodge of projects dictated as much by congressional seniority and whim -- see, e.g., the bridge to nowhere -- as by merit. An infrastructure bank could better take regional needs into account and leverage private capital. A companion proposal, to bring a "Race to the Top"-type competition to transportation funding, is also promising. (Smart policy: Mr. Obama’s plan for an infrastructure bank. Washington Post. 9/8/10)

Christian Science Monitor Editorial: Of all the ideas that Mr. Obama has lately adopted to boost employment, one deserves a serious debate during the election campaign and on Capitol Hill: creation of an investment bank to raise private capital for the building of public roads, rail, and other transportation infrastructure… Projects would be decided on their merits by an independent board within an infrastructure bank – and for one simple reason. The bank would need to pay back its investors. (One jobs idea from Obama that should fly. Christian Science Monitor. 9/7/10)

San Francisco Chronicle Editorial: The nation's infrastructure is badly tattered, especially in contrast to many of our economic rivals. Improving our infrastructure wouldn't just create jobs, it would improve our global competitiveness. And policy experts have been excited about the idea of an infrastructure bank for years. The idea of approving projects based on merit and usefulness shouldn't have taken nearly this long. (Obama's plan underestimates infrastructure needs. San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8/2010)