Sen. Bernie Sanders said during a speech at the Brookings Institute on Monday that his $1 trillion infrastructure bill would cost less than the Iraq War.
“It has been estimated that the costs of the Bush/Cheney Iraq War, a war we should never have waged, will total $3 trillion by the time the last veteran receives needed care,” Sanders said. “A $1 trillion investment in infrastructure could support 13 million decent-paying jobs and make our country more efficient, productive and safer.”
Sanders’ measure, called the Rebuild America Act, would attempt to boost transportation infrastructure across the country and would replace the current transportation funding bill that expires on May 31.
Lawmakers have yet to find a permanent funding source that would, according to The Hill, “supplement the revenue collected by 18.4 cent-per-gallon federal gas tax, which has been used to fill the Transportation Department's Highway Trust Fund since the 1950s.”
The tax comprises about $34 billion of the $50 billion per year that the government spends on transportation infrastructure projects. Sen. Sanders acknowledged that taxing overseas profits, something that the Obama administration has suggested recently, could be a viable alternative to raising the gas tax.
“In terms of other infrastructure, for example, we are losing about $100 billion every single year because corporations and wealthy people are stashing their money in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere,” he said. “Real tax reform can generate a significant sum of money which should be used for infrastructure and education."
Sanders said during his speech that he believes the Rebuild America Act would not only provide funding for crucial transportation projects, it would also help to boost the economy.
“We need a major federal jobs program to put millions of Americans back to work,” he said. “The fastest way to do that is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, our roads, bridges, water systems, wastewater plants, airports, railroads and schools.”
Source: The Hill / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons