In his State of the Union address this week, President Obama again delivered a message to Americans that we can’t sit still as the arteries of our economy – our transportation system – fall into a state of severe disrepair. While short on specifics, the president challenged lawmakers to get focused on reversing decades of neglect.
That’s the good news. The bad news is two-fold. First, the president didn’t offer a new way forward on transportation investments. And second, the Republican response did not even mention the word transportation.
The choice facing Americans and the people they’ve elected isn’t just, as the president said in his address to the nation, deciding “who we want to be over the next 15 years,” but also how we are going to get there. Right now if you’re a working person just trying to get to work, a mayor trying to serve the needs of your constituents, or a multi-billion dollar corporation trying to compete in the global economy, your problem is the same: the transportation system you rely on is dangerously deteriorating.
As I said in my speech at the LAANE City of Justice Awards last month, the challenge we face in addressing this crisis is overcoming the ill effects from the single largest export coming out of Washington: failure. That failure is endangering the very foundation of the economy we are trying to rebuild.
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