Poll: White House shirking U.S. infrastructure
- The results of a Monmouth University poll indicate that a majority of Americans (55%) believe the White House is not giving transportation infrastructure adequate attention. Only 26% of those who responded to the poll said that President Donald Trump is prioritizing infrastructure correctly, despite the administration's attempts to promote the issue through Infrastructure Week campaigns.
- The West Long Branch, New Jersey, university's Polling Institute also found that only 44% of respondents believed that the $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan introduced by the Trump administration earlier this year had a chance of being realized. Just over half of respondents said they would blame Trump and Congress equally if plans to modernize the nation's roads and bridges fall through.
- More than 60% of Americans participating in the poll believed that the federal government was not spending enough money on infrastructure projects in their local areas. However, contrary to what transportation and construction industry organizations have reported, almost half of those polled (45%) responded that the state of their local infrastructure had no economic impact, positive or negative.
According to the latest available estimates from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the economic fallout from a lack of infrastructure investment would be severe. The society projects that by 2025, the U.S. would suffer a near-$4 trillion loss in gross domestic product; a $7 trillion loss in business sales; 2.5 million lost jobs and a $3,400 reduction in the average American family's disposable income.
Not all experts share this view of the country's infrastructure, however. In February, Jonah Goldberg, senior editor of National Review and a fellow and Asness Chair in applied liberty at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote that U.S. infrastructure's "crumbling" state is a myth. Some areas need updating, he granted, claiming that the country's problem is not underinvestment, but misdirected investment.
This echoed the sentiments of the RAND Corp., which late last year issued a report that also refutes the notion that American infrastructure is "crumbling." The report's authors conceded that there is an infrastructure maintenance backlog and that attention should be paid to some areas in the U.S. where quality is an issue but that, overall, there is no significant state of disrepair. In addition, the report said government funding for infrastructure has not declined radically either, contrary to what some infrastructure investment advocates have claimed.
- Monmouth Unversity NATIONAL: WASHINGTON NOT PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION TO INFRASTRUCTURE
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