T4 jobs proposal would create nearly half a million jobs, according to Economic Policy InstituteFebruary 17, 2010
By Sean Barry
|Photo: Dan Burden|
The Economic Policy Institute ran the numbers on Transportation for America’s jobs proposal and concluded that our plan for increased transportation spending would create 480,000 jobs.
The Senate’s first jobs bill currently has no money for transportation, other than a transfer of general fund dollars to cover the looming gap in the Highway Trust Fund while extending the transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU) until the end of the year. (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is said to be planning several separate bills, one of which may focus on transportation).
Our proposed package for Congress directs $34.3 billion toward a mix of public transportation, highways and bicycle and pedestrian projects, closely resembling EPI’s own plan. Our proposal contains roughly $16 billion for transit, $8.1 billion for the Surface Transportation Program (highways), $9.8 billion for competitive grants (like the TIGER grants announced today) and $1.5 billion for Active Transportation such as bike and pedestrian facilities to make walking and biking safer and more attractive.
According to EPI’s analysis, the Transportation for America proposal is especially strong at job creation for low-wage earners and Americans without a college degree. The plan is also effective at creating jobs for African-Americans and Hispanic workers, two demographic groups that have borne a disproportionate share of the economic downturn’s effects.
Ethan Pollack, a policy analyst for EPI, characterizes T4 America’s approach as “a well-tailored package of transportation investments” that can “help put people back to work.” The EPI numbers do not account for the increased consumer spending that will result from these newly employed Americans.
As the U.S. Senate continues to piece together its job-creation legislation, we encourage members to strongly consider substantial investment in infrastructure repair and money to keep transit systems running. Jobs legislation continues to create an opening for increased accountability and benchmarks for federal transportation policy, laying the foundation for more jobs and greater prosperity down the road.
For information about EPI’s report and to obtain a complete copy, click here: http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/ib271/