Huffpost Los Angeles
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Antonio Villaraigosa Headshot

Creating Jobs and Building Transportation the Right Way

Posted: Updated:
US HIGH SPEED RAIL PLAN
Getty Stock Photo

America's political odd couples are joining forces once again in Los Angeles. What do I mean by that? Today, I testified at a Joint Congressional Field Hearing on transportation, where business and labor sat side-by-side and, with a unified voice, called on Congress to develop a national, bi-partisan approach to financing transportation and highway projects that creates jobs now.

What's bringing these groups together? The need for jobs right now and the desire to do it the right way: without adding to the nation's debt problems.

From the US Chamber of Commerce to the AFL-CIO, from Republican John Mica to Democrat Barbara Boxer, and from our biggest cities to our local Main Streets, over sixty mayors representing people across the country are coming together to support America Fast Forward.

It's not every day that business and labor advocates agree. On this issue, they do. People of all political stripes recognize that creating jobs and investing in our nation's transportation infrastructure is a bi-partisan issue. We have to get Americans working again and we must rebuild our nation's infrastructure. And these two goals can go hand in hand.

America Fast Forward is a national plan that will create jobs the right way by empowering local communities. By providing forward-looking financing tools, localities will be able to focus their own resources directly on the priorities that will best lead to real job creation. It will support tens of thousands of Main Street American businesses by leveraging private capital to create one million private sector infrastructure jobs nationwide. And it will do so in a way that does not add to the nation's budget problems.

The program is expected to create one million jobs, generate $158 billion in total economic output -- particularly in the construction and technical industries -- and $51 billion in worker income nationwide. And all of this would happen while also generating $10.6 billion in new federal tax revenue and another $5.8 billion in state tax revenue.

Americans need jobs and our country needs a robust transportation infrastructure. America Fast Forward meets both needs now.