David Crane, Special Advisor to the Governor for Jobs and Economic Growth
Earlier this week, Governor Schwarzenegger was in Philadelphia with most of his fellow governors for a meeting with President-elect Obama.
He had a great conversation with the incoming president, who wanted to hear from America’s governors about the best way to speed up the nation’s economic recovery.
Governor Schwarzenegger told President-elect Obama that the smartest approach
is for the federal government to follow California’s lead and get back into the business of updating our badly outdated infrastructure.
That would be a big win for California and a big win for America.
We would get the trains, bridges, roads, levees, tunnels, schools and energy efficiencies we need to sustain our prosperity.
And we would also put hundreds of thousands of people to work right now when they desperately need jobs and our economy needs a boost.
In 2006, California took the lead on this issue when our legislature and voters approved an unprecedented 42 billion dollars in infrastructure bonds after decades of neglect.
But that was just a down payment. California has 500 billion dollars in infrastructure needs over the next two decades.
The need around the country is a staggering 1.6 trillion dollars, so there is no time to waste.
That’s why Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Schwarzenegger formed the Building America’s Future Coalition last year – a non-partisan collection of state and local officials who are beating the drum to get America building again.
We know we have to invest in our infrastructure if we are to remain the strongest and most prosperous nation in the world.
And conservative estimates say that every one billion dollars in infrastructure investment creates 18,000 jobs.
In California alone, we’ve already identified more than 28 billion dollars of projects that could begin immediately which translates into 500,000 jobs.
The rest of the states have at least 136 billion dollars in ready-to-go projects, for 2.5 million jobs – starting immediately.
As Governor Schwarzenegger has said, we don’t need a federal bailout.
We just need the federal government to do its part when it comes to investing in our future and in our people.