|Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner with CNBC anchor Erin Burnett at the Port of Tacoma, WA. Photo: Flickr/Port of Tacoma|
In a post on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website today Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner voices his support for infrastructure investments as a tool for economic growth. Geithner explains that “targeted infrastructure investments are a necessary component of creating the middle-class jobs we need now and strengthening our foundation for future economic growth.”
Today’s post comes on the heels of October 2010′s Economic Analysis of Infrastructure Investment, a report by the Treasury which reiterated the fact that well designed infrastructure investments have long term economic benefits that disproportionately benefit the middle class. The report also noted that there is currently a high level of underutilized resources that can be used to improve and expand our infrastructure, as well as strong demand by the public and businesses for additional transportation infrastructure investments. From Treasury.gov:
Well-targeted infrastructure investments create both immediate and long-term economic benefits. Those benefits accrue not only where the infrastructure is located but also to communities all across the country.
When the Port of Seattle improves its connection with local freight railroads, it creates construction jobs for local workers – but the project’s benefits extend far across the heartland. By making it cheaper to transport cargo, this improvement will allow cattle ranchers in rural Montana to ship their beef to new markets across the world. Consumers who purchase imported goods and American businesses that are expanding their exports enjoy lower prices and improved access to new markets and goods…
Not all infrastructure investments are good investments, and too often we have seen transportation projects exemplify the worst of Washington – the bridges to nowhere that rightly make American taxpayers cringe. The President’s Budget recognizes this and will make some difficult choices, proposing significant spending cuts, including to some programs we would preserve in better times. However, it is not enough to spend less. Government must also spend wisely…We will support projects that produce significant returns on our investment, allow Americans more choices in their modes of transportation, and improve the interconnectedness of our existing transportation networks to maximize the value of our current infrastructure.