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Infrastructure discussions


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    Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: lucht, boom, plant en buiten

    Herewith some pictures what they do in Valencia ( Spain):

    Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: lucht en buiten

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    When I think of infrastructure projects I think of bridges, roads, dams, and other public projects, not opera houses.

    The sheer scale of critically needed infrastructure projects in America is mind boggling and is only getting worse with every passing day. Take the city of Portland. There are 12 bridges connecting the east and west sides of the city and all but one (a brand new pedestrian and mass-tran only bridge) are in various stages of disrepair. Current estimates suggest it would cost $10 billion to repair/rebuild all the bridges in this city alone. And that's just our bridges. Don't even get me started on my opinions of the city planners who built the highway system feeding into and out of the city.

    Zoom out and pick any other major city and you're going to see the same exact issues to varying degrees. We need a moonshot type program to rebuild our nations infrastructure for the 21st Century, but right now we're so stuck in our political crisis that it's basically impossible to get anything done at the national level.

    Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, and Donald just agreed to investing $2 trillion in critical infrastructure projects, which is great, but, and it's a pretty big but, the two sides are in different universes when it comes to where that $2 trillion is going to come from. That pesky little detail all but guarantees that absolutely nothing is going to get done anytime soon.

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    Yes Jared; sorry but they do infrastructure things in Europe all the time. Here the "time" stood still; where is the TGV (high speed rail) here? Already in use in Europe for at least 30 years. Here none. Talking about bridges, yes you are right; all over the place they are in bad shape; how about all the pothole roads? Even the airports are no longer up to date. Ever been in Dubai?

    Anyway forget infrastructure here on this island; who is going to invest in it if there is no return on the investment? I guess the only thing is to add this to the deficit; that will help. The thing is; nothing in this country is maintained as is done in other countries; if they maintain something then again it is done half ass; so it still will still rot away. If it is not part of the "tax" structure then it won't work. If you add it as an fuel tax; then the oil companies object and people may buy more electric cars so the revenues will erode. Thus as you said, 2 trillion is "fantasy" land to get it; especially with Trump in charge.

    He will likely suggest; cut all the "social" services and government services etc.

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    Since my career deals with infrastructure I have a bit of an interest in this. There are multiple thousands of miles of sewer lines and water mains. There are lines multiple decades old. There are combines sewer systems that result in cities/authorities treating not just sewage but storm water as well. There are manholes that need rehabilitation. The list goes on and on. Many cities and authorities have not raised rates which means they lack monies for maintenance or they have to issue bonds taking on debt. Infrastructure is a social concern. The private sector not only won’t deal with it, they can’t deal with it.
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    First, don’t ask where the $ will come from for any Congressional spending.

    They all come from keystrokes on computers at the US Treasury that send instructions to computers at the Federal Reserve to mark up accounts in the banking system.

    The real question is where will the resources come from to be deployed by that spending.

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    Carlitos, don't worry, the whole thing will never get from the ground. Lots of talk no results. Until 2020 there will only be "word" fighting and torturing little kids at the border as well that the GOP "gang" can continue to fill their pockets and Trump can visit his resort every weekend costing "nothing" at all for the taxpayer, let alone his stupid "rally's to release his inbred anger.

    Of course he wants to built his "wall" first; so no time for "infrastructure" But yeah he loves to get "infrastructure " done, because he can then pocket even more then from the "wall" from the "deals" he made with the "contractors"' he appoints.

    Sorry but this country had its "time" in history. Rome went the same way.

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    Kickbacks for infrastructure projects is nothing new, and the beneficiaries of such projects is also sometimes secretive, as we who live near the Chicago area have seen in the past and probably the present.

    But don't expect passage of a $2T spending package for an infrastructure project/s because as we've seen in the past w/trump, he'll lay out some bait with strings attached, and when democrat leaders bite at it, he'll reel it in like an empty line and sinker. He uses democrat leadership like bait. I'd take anything he want's to do good for America with a grain of salt, there's not much to it, because he is a habitual liar.


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    I'm not sure that Trump understands what it takes to get any kind of infrastructure package passed through Congress, especially with the Republicans in the majority in the Senate. It is all for show again...an illusion of progress, but nothing of substance will happen. Perhaps a few token projects with "first shovel" ceremonies and lots of speeches for photo ops. But then back to doing nothing...or whatever the meager gas tax can fund.
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    Schmidt Wrote: I'm not sure that Trump understands what it takes to get any kind of infrastructure package passed through Congress, especially with the Republicans in the majority in the Senate. It is all for show again...an illusion of progress, but nothing of substance will happen. Perhaps a few token projects with "first shovel" ceremonies and lots of speeches for photo ops. But then back to doing nothing...or whatever the meager gas tax can fund.
    You may be right; my bet is that until 2020 nothing gets done except the "in-fighting"as is done now. My point stays as it is; as long as this country does not make proper laws for Presidents and their limits and an mandatory "law" to produce "tax returns, BEFORE being elected, as well making sure an President is suited for the job via an stringent detailed "vetting" process, then this "circus" will continue forever in this country until it becomes like Venezuela. Amen
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    Schmidt Wrote: I'm not sure that Trump understands what it takes to get any kind of infrastructure package passed through Congress, especially with the Republicans in the majority in the Senate. It is all for show again...an illusion of progress, but nothing of substance will happen. Perhaps a few token projects with "first shovel" ceremonies and lots of speeches for photo ops. But then back to doing nothing...or whatever the meager gas tax can fund.

    Schmidt:

    Trump had no clue on how to get an infrastructure bill done.

    Biden does, and it's still harder than hell to get it done.

    The fact that a bi-partisan "roads and bridges" bill got passed at all is a miracle.

    Just as important as the $1.5 trillion "basic bill" is, the $3.5 trillion "social network" bill is equally as important, and AOC has articulated the reasons why very well.

    To give you a personal example, our daughter-in-law (Kim) recently started work again. She and my son have two kids, 1 and 3 years old.

    Her ENTIRE paycheck goes for day care, so until she gets a raise, they can't get ahead financially.

    My son, like me, is a substitute teacher. Although it pays well, he still has to work Door Dash in his time off to make enough money to pay the rent and put food on table AND make his car payment.

    Biden is going to have to take a big baseball bat and beat the shit out of some Republicans to get them to see the light. The dual package may still get done, but the Democrats are going to have to pull a couple of rabbits out of the hat to make it happen.

    In this country, there are millions of women just like Kim, who are essentially working for free - and that makes no sense at all.

    The Wall Street Journal, of course, takes a dim view of the plan:

    Democrats are moving quickly to pass a multi-trillion-dollar spending bill via budget reconciliation, with little scrutiny on the details. So the editorial board has been parsing the bill’s vast new entitlements for readers. Take a turbocharged child tax credit that is really a universal basic income, which will discourage work and cost $1 trillion.

    BULLSHIT

    Or a paid family and medical leave program that purports to help low-income workers but will subsidize affluent Americans earning north of $200,000 a year. The Journal has also walked readers through the array of accounting fictions that make the bill appear cheaper on paper. The true expense may reach $5.5 trillion over a decade, and much more beyond that. The larger cost will be conditioning the American middle class to rely on government for ever more of life’s needs.

    The editors need to take a trip to Scandinavia to see why Biden's plan is a good idea.

    185 countries have paid family leave. The only three that don't are Papua New Guinea, Oman, and the United States. 86% of the American population supports paid family leave, including 73% of Republican voters.

    http://www.allgov.com/news/us-and-the-world/185-countries-guarantee-paid-family-leave-the-3-that-dont-papua-new-guinea-oman-and-us-140628?news=853536#:~:text=185%20Countries%20Guarantee%20Paid%20Family%20Leave%3B%20The%203,that%20don%E2%80%99t%3A%20Papua%20New%20Guinea%2C%20Oman%20and%20U.S.

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    President Biden’s $3.5 trillion reconciliation package would expand Medicare, combat climate change and offer free public prekindergarten and community college while boosting federal safety-net programs. At first glance, its price dwarfs era-defining social programs like Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, which cost around $324 billion in today’s dollars, and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, which cost around $520 billion in today’s dollars. Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act cost around $943 billion while the Affordable Care Act was pegged at around $1.1 trillion through 2019, adjusted for inflation.

    But while the reconciliation package looks colossal by those standards, its passage wouldn’t guarantee Biden a legacy on par with those transformative social programs. His predecessors led a smaller country with a smaller economy. Even after adjusting for inflation, the U.S. economy is more than 20 times bigger than it was in 1934 and five times bigger than in 1964, thanks to a population that has more than doubled as well as factories and offices that produce far more than their Depression-era predecessors.

    Every dollar in spending FDR and LBJ proposed was much larger relative to each taxpayer’s income, making costly legislation harder to pass. So rather than adjusting for inflation, many economists compare historical spending with the size of the economy (GDP). In an average year from 1934 to 1940, New Deal spending was equal to 2.8 percent of all goods and services sold in the United States. The Great Society averaged about 0.9 percent a year, while Obama’s plans combined averaged around 1 percent of GDP. Biden’s plan comes in around 1.1 percent of the economy for an average year from 2021 to 2031 — 2.1 percent if you include the American Rescue Plan and infrastructure bill.

    $3.5 trillion is just the cost side of the bill. It would be offset by $2.9 trillion in revenue, according to recent estimates, putting its budgetary impact at $0.6 trillion. For comparison, Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cost between $3.3 trillion and $5.6 trillion, according to Marc Goldwein of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/10/02/joe-biden-new-deal-infrastructure/

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    Your last "para" shows how much revenue is needed to offset the "cost". However if Biden does not succeed to increase the "tax" on the rich, will that "revenue" be sufficient, because the question remains , if we get more unforeseen disasters or "hurricanes" or "fires" and "flooding" happening. Since the "global warming" actions will only get "slowly" put into action , we may get more disasters in the meantime. Also the Covid period may last longer than expected. Or new "variants" may show up and put the brakes on the "economy". Since we already hit the "debt ceiling" this month, what is next? Also the GOP may become even more an "obstacle" to get things going. Mc Connell already has shown how an "monster" he is.
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    Last night, Heather Cox Richardson explained how the infrastructure bill and the debt limit are related.

    Under Trump, the Republicans added $8 trillion to the national debt. Raising the debt limit is NOT new spending. It simply is a way to guarantee payment for the money that has already been spent by the Republicans. If the debt limit is not raised by October 18, the country would default on the debt, causing worldwide problems and the loss of many domestic jobs.

    Yesterday, Joe Biden asked the senate to raise the debt limit this week.

    The Democrats CAN raise the limit on the debt themselves using reconciliation. However, since reconciliation can only be used once a year, that means that it could not be used to pass either one of the infrastructure bills. If McConnell forces the use of reconciliation to raise the debt limit, then the Democrats will be forced to ELIMINATE the filibuster.

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/2021/10/04/schumer-senate-vote-debt-limit-this-week/5988807001/

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    Using reconciliation, Biden's Build Back Better program can be passed with 50 votes.

    Right now, he has 48

    The only holdouts are Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

    I don't know what he has to do to get this passed, but he needs to have a "coming to Jesus" talk with them to get them to change their minds. Following that, he needs to convince them to either modify or eliminate the filibuster in order to thwart the obstructionist tactics that "the turtle" is going to continue to use.

    Some of my fellow Arizona citizens chased followed Sinema into a bathroom at ASU the other day. Maybe getting "up close and personal" will persuade her to become more reasonable.

    If the filibuster remains in place, the For the People Act (or whatever the new name is) , which both Manchin and Sinema support, is not going to get passed either.

    Braham's cartoon (in today's New York Daily News) shows what will happen to the Dems if Joe and Kyrsten don't come around:

    See inside Bramhall's World of editorial cartoons for 2021

    https://www.nydailynews.com/resizer/gPDbfVqNk7m2GB650iZMIQSr0-I=/415x311/smart/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/tronc/L7OTAU7OMZG63L3LXW34N2MBHY.jpg

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    Carlitos Wrote:

    First, don’t ask where the $ will come from for any Congressional spending.

    They all come from keystrokes on computers at the US Treasury that send instructions to computers at the Federal Reserve to mark up accounts in the banking system.

    The real question is where will the resources come from to be deployed by that spending.

    Thank you Carlitos for making those two good points.