寻找修路钱

伯克利—在又一次边缘政策后,充满敌意的美国国会在最后关头通过了一项法案,避免了公路信托基金(Highway Trust Fund, HTF)的破产。公路信托基金是美国公路和交通基础设施的主要联邦资金源,每年为基础设施支出提供约500亿美元的资金,其破产将迫使州和地方政府的数千个项目搁置,威胁数十万建筑业工人的饭碗。

新立法将提供110亿美元的临时补助,并将公路信托基金的破产程序暂停十个月。该法案通过财政技巧将法案的融资成本推延到国会为了表明其财政责任而武断划定的预算窗口——十年之外。但对于这一立法,并无财政上的责任可以追究。

美国公共基础设施投资已降至GDP的2%以下,为1992年联邦政府开始追踪该数据以来的最低水平。美国土木工程师协会(American Society of Civil Engineers,ASCE)给美国基础设施的评分是 D+,反映了维护拖延和投资不足两大问题。据估计,美国有九分之一的桥梁具有结构缺陷,42%的城市道路存在拥挤,每年浪费掉的时间和能源成本据估计高达1,010亿美元。有缺陷又维护不力的交通体系每年也会带来900亿美元的经济成本。

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