Lobbying for a National Infrastructure Bank
Aug. 13, 2019—A group of citizens representing an ad hoc coalition for a National Infrastructure Bank went to Capitol Hill during the last week of August, to lobby for the enactment of a National Infrastructure Bank (NIB). The more than a dozen citizens included activists from Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., determined to convince their Congressmen that the nation’s massive infrastructure needs could indeed be funded, through a Hamiltonian National Infrastructure Bank.
The Coalition has released a video featuring interviews with eight of the participants, who argue for the necessity of Congressional action to implement the bank.
The lobbyists were circulating a draft bill, which can be found on this website.
The lobbyists report that they found a strong level of interest among the Congressmen and top aides with whom they met. A similar phenomenon has been evident in state legislatures and numerous national civic organizations, where resolutions urging Congress to pass a National Infrastructure Bank have been have voted up. The most recent institution to do so was the Fairfax County, Va. Democratic Committee.
And, as if to underscore the urgency of the infrastructure crisis, a new Federal report has highlighted the lead contamination in the Newark, New Jersey water system. The city commenced distributing bottled water to its citizens on August 12, following receipt of a letter from the EPA warning that recent tests had shown high levels of lead in the water, and urging such distribution. This blog reported on this crisis back in December of 2018, pointing out that it reflected the failure of the nation to maintain and upgrade basic economic infrastructure for the last decades. Indeed, a great deal of the country’s water infrastructure was constructed between the late 19th Century and the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.
The Coalition for a National Infrastructure Bank directly takes on the canard that the needed infrastructure program, which would require at least $4 trillion dollars of investment, could not be carried out without either adding a massive amount to the national debt, or oppressive taxation for the population as a whole. A proper investment policy, including re-purposing current Federal debt into capital for a National Infrastructure Bank (as Hamilton did for the Bank of the United States), would in fact provide a huge boost to U.S. productivity, providing a “pay-back” to the economy many times higher than the funds required.