In what should come as a complete surprise to no one, government investment in maintenance, repair and construction of infrastructure such as roads and bridges has a snowball effect that warrants as much federal support as we can possibly muster.
According to a study by the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy at the College of William and Mary, and commissioned by the Association of Equipment Distributors, "The impact of infrastructure investment is felt well beyond the construction industry."
Researchers determined each dollar spent on infrastructure generates:
* 35 cents in indirect economic activity for manufacturers
* 20 cents for professional and business services providers
* 10 cents for the finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing sector
* Residual benefits to sectors ranging from agriculture to entertainment to retail
And that's in addition to the impact on the infrastructure itself which reports for years have shown is in dire need of drastic repair.
The report adds that infrastructure investment also produces revenue for federal, state, and local governments. Over 20 years:
* $1 in aggregate infrastructure spending generates 96 cents in taxes
* $1 invested in highways and streets returns 35 cents in tax revenue (23 cents goes to the federal level)
* $1 in sewer systems and water infrastructure generates $2.03 in tax receipts ($1.35 for the federal government) over the same time period.
"The bottom line is that there's a big difference between investment and wasteful spending," said Associated Equipment Distributors President & CEO Toby Mack. "When the federal government pays to build a road or sewer, it's like a business buying a bulldozer or computer. It's a productive asset that will spur economic activity and generate revenues for years to come."
What in the heck is Congress waiting for?