PRESS RELEASE: ECONOMIC EXPERTS AGREE: LARGE-SCALE PUBLIC INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE PAYS FOR ITSELF BY GROWING ECONOMY, CREATING MILLIONS OF JOBS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2021

Contact: 
Maddy McDaniel, Communications Director

[email protected] or 914-471-7716

ECONOMIC EXPERTS AGREE: LARGE-SCALE PUBLIC INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE PAYS FOR ITSELF BY GROWING ECONOMY, CREATING MILLIONS OF JOBS

International Monetary Fund: “Increased public infrastructure investment raises output in the short term by boosting demand and in the long term by raising the economy’s productive capacity.”

Business Roundtable: “Every additional $1 invested in infrastructure drives roughly $3.70 in additional economic growth.”

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Executive Director Tom Smith“We risk significant economic losses, higher costs to consumers, businesses and manufacturers – and our quality of life – if we don’t act urgently. When we fail to invest in infrastructure, we pay the price.”

ASCEUnited States Must Invest $5.9 Trillion In Roads, Airports, Clean Water, and Schools Over The Next 10 Years

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As our nation faces at least $5.9 trillion in infrastructure investment needs and begins to discuss ways to rebuild our economy better than before the pandemic struck, economic experts have weighed in about the importance of large-scale investment in infrastructure, which pays for itself by creating jobs and boosting the economy both in the short and the long term.

“Big problems require big solutions. While the American Rescue Plan helped staunch the bleeding, we’re still down 10 million jobs from the beginning of the pandemic; our roads, bridges and electric grid are falling apart; and the economic toll of climate change from hurricanes, droughts and fires is rising swiftly,” said Maddy McDaniel, communications director for Invest in America. “Anyone balking at the price tag should listen to the economic experts who have been saying for years that these kinds of investments pay for themselves by creating tens of millions of high-paying jobs, delivering an enormous boost to our economic output and saving trillions of dollars from the economic destruction of climate change.”

Infrastructure spending creates millions of good-paying jobs and boosts GDP. 

S&P Global: Infrastructure: What Once Was Lost Can Now Be Found — The Productivity Boost

  • “A $2.1 trillion boost of public infrastructure spending over a 10-year period, to the levels (relative to GDP) of the mid-20th century, could add as much as $5.7 trillion to the U.S. over the next decade, creating 2.3 million jobs by 2024.
    […]
    “With the U.S. sinking into a deep recession, now expected to be much worse than the Great Recession, the returns on investment from the infrastructure boost would be likely higher over the near term, given costs are lower in the now soft jobs market. And, assuming that the infrastructure spending was wise (prudent spending is sorely needed), the productivity gains later in the decade would generate a bigger boost to economic activity later on, with the multiplier averaging 2.7 over the 10-year period, helping to give the new post-pandemic expansion more fuel as it nears 2030. This translates to $2.70 back for every dollar spent.” [S&P Global, 2021]

Brookings: Prioritize people, not projects: Addressing the harms of legacy infrastructure in the COVID-19 recovery

  • “Upgrading roads, ports, pipes, and other facilities can boost capital spending and create jobs now, plus support long-lasting career pathways and durable economic growth.” [Brookings, 12/17/20]

Economic Policy Institute Research Director, Josh Bivens: The potential macroeconomic benefits from increasing infrastructure investment

  • “Increased infrastructure investment has been suggested as a primary tool to restore the economy to full health.
    […]
    “A renewed push to increase infrastructure investment could move fiscal policy from being a drag on growth to being a boost to growth in coming years. Perhaps relevant to upcoming fiscal policy debates, infrastructure investment is routinely estimated to be a much more efficient fiscal stimulus than almost any form of tax cut, and it is significantly more efficient than those tax cuts whose benefits fall mostly on high-income households.”

Siemens CEO, Barbara Humpton: Racial equity is ‘going to be so important’: Siemens CEO on infrastructure decisions

  • “We understand the potential positive return on investment, over 2 and 1/2 dollars every dollar invested in infrastructure. This is a good investment for America. But think about it. Now is a time that we could also use that. Every dollar we spend will help to create jobs and help get the economy rolling again.” [Yahoo Finance, 3/8/21]

Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce: Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Proposals Could Create Millions of Jobs

  • “If enacted, the [$1 trillion] infrastructure program could put the United States back on a prerecession job growth path and create more than 11 million jobs.” [Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2017]

Experts agree that in the long term, investing in infrastructure pays for itself: 

Business Roundtable: Delivering For America

  • “The unique benefit of infrastructure investment is its ability to drive productivity growth. Over 20 years, every additional $1 invested in infrastructure drives roughly $3.70 in additional economic growth. This isn’t just about delivering for U.S. businesses and workers now. This is about creating a new foundation for our economy to be more competitive for the foreseeable future.” [Business Roundtable]

International Monetary Fund: IMF Survey: The Time Is Right for an Infrastructure Push

  • “The study finds that increased public infrastructure investment raises output in the short term by boosting demand and in the long term by raising the economy’s productive capacity.
    […]
    “In addition, the boost to GDP a country gets from increasing public infrastructure investment offsets the rise in debt, so that the public debt-to-GDP ratio does not rise.
    […]
    “For economies with clearly identified infrastructure needs and efficient public investment processes and where there is economic slack, there is a strong case for stepping up public investment.” [IMF News, 9/30/14]

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers: Invest in infrastructure that pays for itself

  • “Most notably, the IMF asserts that properly designed infrastructure investment will reduce rather than increase government debt burdens. Stated boldly: Public infrastructure investments can pay for themselves.
    […]
    “What is crucial everywhere is the recognition that in a time of economic shortfall and inadequate public investment, there is a free lunch to be had — a way that government can strengthen the economy and its own financial position. The IMF, a bastion of ‘tough love’ austerity, has come to this important realization. Countries with the wisdom to follow its lead will benefit.” [The Washington Post, 10/7/14]

Visiting Faculty In Economics At Emory University Sheila Tschinkel and Professor Of Finance Emirata At The University of Colorado Denver Marcelle Arak: An investment in America’s infrastructure could cost taxpayers nothing

  • “Now is the right time for a substantial program of greatly needed public infrastructure investment. One of the main objections to this kind of investment – the growth of the federal budget deficit that temporarily results from more spending on infrastructure – is not worrisome because of the gains in economic productivity and potential output. Indeed, it will pay for itself over time: if the real cost of financing the borrowing is close to zero and the return is well above zero, it is as if we are being paid to do this. Let’s not reject a ‘free lunch.’” [Fortune Magazine, 10/8/15]

About Invest in America

Invest In America is a national rapid response operation advocating for robust public investment to rescue the economy from the COVID crisis and create prosperity for the future, and to fight back against fear-mongers who use deficit concerns as a scapegoat to starve American communities and businesses of resources.

The operation consists of two components: Invest in America, the charitable and public education arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Economic Security Project co-chair Chris Hughes; and Invest in America Action, the advocacy and social welfare arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project Action funded by Chris Hughes and the Omidyar Network.

Learn more at InvestInAmericaNow.com and @InvestNowUSA, and InvestinAmericaProject.com.

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