The good news is that we can change course -- well, that is if the politicians find the will to do so. They must stop the brinksmanship, reject destructive austerity budgets and start investing in a long-term plan.
The U.S. cannot afford much more of this amateur-hour policymaking. The costs to our economy are too great. It is time for a bipartisan agreement to make the necessary long-term investments in transportation systems and infrastructure.
If we invest in rebuilding our nation, we will also create new jobs that teach valuable skills and support the middle class. But this is not happening because too many in Washington are playing political games and turning a cold shoulder to the millions of Americans stuck in traffic.
In telling Virgin America employees to "say no to the old way of flying and say no to the TWU," Sir Richard couldn't have been clearer -- he is at the helm making sure that his (sorry, I meant Virgin America's) employees remain non-union.
The economy needs this bill -- it is the backbone for our system of surface freight and passenger commerce. It will provide transit systems and their workers new tools to weather recessions, and it will boost American manufacturing.
Does the nation need Congress to quickly finish a surface transportation investment bill that funds the operations and infrastructure of our mass transit systems, highways, bridges, railroads and ports? You bet.
In this time of economic crisis, when more people are trading in their monthly parking garage passes for subway tokens and bus fare, wouldn't it be a good idea to give transit agencies the flexibility to spend money on keeping systems operating and fares low?