Obama stresses importance of construction in economic progress
The President spoke at the Building and Construction Trades Department Conference on April 30, 2012 to gain support for his re-election and for his infrastructure spending bill. The President urged the Construction Trades community and the Congress to support his plan to create jobs by pouring funds into construction projects such as fixing crumbling bridges and rebuilding outdated airports, schools and highways.
“I don’t have to tell you we’ve got bridges and roads all over this country in desperate need of repair. Our highways are clogged with traffic. Our railroads are no longer the fastest in the world. Our skies are congested, our airports are the busiest on the planet. All of this costs families and businesses billions of dollars a year. That drags down our entire economy.”
Obama applauded the audience as the latest representatives of past workers who built the country from the bottom up. “It was your predecessors who put down the hard hats and helped us defeat fascism. And when that was done, you kept on building –highways that we drive on, and the houses we live in, and the schools where our children learn. And you established the foundation of what it means to be a proud American.”
The hundreds of billions the President plans to invest in infrastructure projects will be funded in part by the money being pulled out of the winding operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He stresses that putting construction builders to work is more important than ever to rebuild America’s economy. “Infrastructure shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Investments in better roads and safer bridges…lead to a strong, durable economy.”
But while Obama pushes forward with the bill, calling it as “guaranteed work for millions of construction workers,” republican congressional leaders are criticizing the proposal- citing it as no more than a political program that wouldn’t do much to curb the deficit. The question seems to boil down to whether paying down the country’s deficit is possible while the government invests in costly projects that help the economy grow at the same time.