An exuberant President Obama unveiled a $447bn infrastructure plan to quickly inject money into the economy and create jobs. The plan included $50bn to jump-start surface transportation projects, but the strategy once again emphasized rail, air and highways. That's right: "ZERO" bucks for maritime again.
President Obama's infrastructure speech rang the warning bells as he said, "Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us an economic superpower. And now we're going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads?" He continued: "Ask yourselves-where would we be right now if the people before us decided not to build our highways, not to build our bridges, our dams, our airports?"
During 2010, China spent about 9 percent of its GDP on infrastructure and Europe invested 5 percent. The U.S currently ranks twenty-third in overall infrastructure quality, somewhere between Spain and Chile and spends only 2.4 percent of GDP on infrastructure.
The federal government currently spends about $50bn annually on all forms of transportation. But the U.S. maritime sector gets "ZERO" bucks annually and is currently not part of the economic recovery plan to rebuild infrastructure and create jobs. When the President reminisced about past generations building the U.S. into an economic superpower, he forgot to mention that most of the economic wealth of those past generations was delivered on a fleet of U.S. ships.
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