S&P report: long-term solution for infrastructure remains in doubt
No one in Washington wants to pass a long-term solution the infrastructure problem requires as long as economic and other issues remain, the report said. (The Trucker file photo)
The Trucker News Services
BOSTON — A Standard and Poor’s report released recently says that despite the across-the-aisle agreement that produced an overhaul of the U.S. transportation infrastructure, despite the fact that the overhaul provides $105 billion for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 to finance construction and repair, and despite the fact that in August the federal government released $470 million in Transportation Department funds to create jobs and repair the crumbling infrastructure, the long-term solution of the nation’s infrastructure remains in doubt.
The report says that the aforementioned actions and others like them are signs that the federal government is serious about tackling the infrastructure issues, but indicates the government still has work to do.
"However, we believe they [the actions] don't represent the sort of long-term solutions that the problem requires," said Standard and Poor's credit analyst Geoff Buswick in the report, entitled "A Short-Term Approach To Funding Leaves U.S. Transportation Infrastructure Without A Solid Long-Term Plan."
"Simply put, it seems to us that no one in Washington wants to pass a long-term bill while the U.S. economy continues its struggle to recover from the Great Recession, or while it faces the prospect of more bad economic conditions ahead," Buswick added.
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Standard and Poor’s officials said in the company’s view, substantial uncertainty with regard to funding will remain until Congress undertakes a meaningful tax-reform debate — or implements a targeted transportation policy.
“Furthermore, we expect that funding bills, which have historically spanned five-plus years, will continue to come as short-term measures for the foreseeable future, which complicates states' ability to make solid capital-spending plans.
"Governments will continue issuing debt to fund these programs, but as the federal government pares back its spending, we believe more of the burden will fall to local governments, which might not be able to complete the necessary work without greater federal assistance," Buswick said.
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