T4America Blog

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Did you know that it’s Infrastructure Week once again?

After two solid years of everyone in Washington, DC talking nonstop about a standalone infrastructure bill to pump trillions into America’s infrastructure, we’d understand if you weren’t aware that the last Infrastructure Week ever ended.

If you haven’t seen the evidence in your inbox already, the incessant drumbeat for more money is already underway today. All this week, you’ll hear the usual interest groups starting this conversation by talking about nothing but money:

Why are they telling us the price before they’ve told us what we’re buying?

We think that this is backwards, and our Repair Priorities 2019 report, launching tomorrow, will help show why. Even as we gave states more than $300 billion to spend almost however they wanted to—in addition to billions more in the 2009 stimulus—the condition of our nation’s roads actually got worse from 2009-2017. Thirty-seven states saw an increase of roads in “poor” condition.

Our roads got worse not because we lacked money, but because too many states spent that money on building or expanding new roads rather than being good stewards by prioritizing repair. We built enough new lane-miles during that period to criss-cross the country 83 times, roads that will cost us $5 billion more per year just to maintain in good condition.

This is more than a money problem—it’s a priorities problem.

Congress has to stop asking taxpayers for more funding to fix crumbling roads and bridges without providing concrete, measurable assurances that any new money will actually improve things.

The public deserves to know first what more money is going to buy us—not just how much money they “need.” Congress’ decisions over the last two decades has just led to a lack of transportation options, more inequality, and more and bigger roads filled with more traffic and more pollution.

If you think we need to fix our spending priorities before we even think about pouring more money into this broken system, then bypass the Infrastructure Week rhetoric and share our social media message for Monday instead:

Today is the 1st day of #InfrastructureWeek. Why in the world would we give more money to the same people who have been neglecting basic maintenance in order to build more things we can’t afford to maintain? #BuildWHATForTomorrow?”

Repair Priorities 2019 is being released tomorrow. Sign up for Wednesday’s 3:00 p.m. EDT webinar examining the findings now.