Funds for infrastructure

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In his fiscal year 2012 budget, President Obama included a proposal for a new, six-year surface transportation program worth $556 billion. In the first year, the budget proposes $50 billion in spending on roads, railroads and airport runways as a way to generate jobs. Although this is a lot of money, it is just a drop in the bucket in relation to the size of the problem. In the Portland, OR, metropolitan region alone, a 2008 study indicated a need to spend at least $27 billion over the next 30 years in order to address infrastructure needs. Extend these projections across the country, and one can see the magnitude of the problem. Crumbling roads, failing bridges, fracturing pipes, and all the negative economic impacts that result, are what we look forward to unless the situation is effectively addressed.

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