November 20th, 2009 :: Permalink
@ Linda Kato: Mahalo for your sacrifice ... this is an example of middle class heroism. Two workers in one family losing 8 percent each of their income yet continuing to care about fellow citizens and make major purchases. Under current economic conditions it would not be irrational for this household to cut back at this time. Thank you!
@BuildRailNow: If Uncle Barack would take a page from FDR and President Eisenhower he would authorize the federal government to take over the rail project. It would be re-named H4.
Such a move would shift financial support for this modern expressway to federal coffers and provide 90 percent of the funding. An $5.5B H4 project would receive approximately $4.95B in federal money (90%) and require only $550 million in local support. How does this sound to Hawai'i's taxpayers?
How many jobs would H4 add to the Obama administration's total? Like Roosevelt who built schools, dams and other infrastructure projects during the Great Depression, such a Keynesian effort would put money directly into the hands of working families and leave a long-term success for future generations.
At this time H1, H2 and H3 sum to about 51 miles of federal expressway - lowest in the nation. Even Puerto Rico has more - about 250 miles. Our nation and Hawai'i need to reduce our dependence on both the auto and oil.
Creating the H4 project would meet so many economic and social goals at once that we should name it the Shapiro Superway.
I have been ranting about saving public sector jobs and pay levels while few have taken this public educated economist seriously ... please see the report today from the Economic Policy Institute.
A couple key points:
"... for every dollar of [state government] budget cuts, more than half the jobs and economic activity lost will be in the private sector."
"... nearly one-third of state spending goes to public provisions such as infrastructure, which is usually awarded to private contractors ..."
Contracting is down 20 percent so far and must be increased. How about the H4?
State, local budget cuts a "time bomb" for U.S. jobs