Lead­ers should have a vi­sion for a brighter fu­ture

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

As a busi­ness­man, I know that growth re­quires in­vest­ment. As we look at the eco­nomic land­scape go­ing into the Gen­eral Elec­tion, we see that in­vest­ment in a brighter, more pros­per­ous fu­ture for our na­tion is sorely lack­ing. I know that eco­nomic growth and job cre­ation re­mains a top pri­or­ity for Amer­i­cans, and in Congress I will be a leader and out­spo­ken ad­vo­cate for mak­ing the strate­gic in­vest­ments that will cre­ate jobs and grow the econ­omy. First and fore­most I pro­pose a bold, in­no­va­tive ap­proach to in­vest­ing in our crum­bling na­tional in­fra­struc­ture.

So many of the is­sues that we face are ei­ther di­rectly or in­di­rectly re­lated to eco­nomic growth. Real lead­er­ship means look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties to make in­no­va­tive in­vest­ments in our coun­try, com­mu­ni­ties and peo­ple that will spur job growth and help us ad­dress the is­sues that we face.

Want to shrink the deficit? Cre­ate jobs. Want to help small busi­nesses? Cre­ate jobs. Want to make our na­tion more se­cure? Cre­ate jobs. Want to ad­dress cli­mate change? Cre­ate jobs.

That may seem over­sim­pli­fied and it is. The key is not to just cre­ate jobs, but to in­vest in the econ­omy from the ground up to cre­ate the right kind of jobs and the right kind of eco­nomic growth that will lead to a safe, clean, healthy and pros­per­ous fu­ture for our na­tion.

Ex­perts agree that the best place to start in­vest­ing is with our crum­bling na­tional in­fra­struc­ture. In­fra­struc­ture is the back­bone of our econ­omy, and in­vest­ing in our in­fra­struc­ture is a wise in­vest­ment in our col­lec­tive fu­ture. Un­for­tu­nately, Congress has failed to make this in­vest­ment, and it is cost­ing all of us.

In­vest­ing in in­fra­struc­ture is one of the most ef­fec­tive ways to spur eco­nomic growth and cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment that is ben­e­fi­cial to busi­ness. Ac­cord­ing to the Brook­ing In­sti­tute, “in­fra­struc­ture dol­lars flow through the econ­omy and cre­ate more jobs than other kinds of spend­ing.” Ac­cord­ing to Mark Zandi, Chief Econ­o­mist for Moody’s An­a­lyt­ics, ev­ery dol­lar in­vested in our in­fra­struc­ture pro­vides a boost to the econ­omy of $1.44.

In­fra­struc­ture en­com­passes ev­ery­thing, from wa­ter sys­tems and the power to grid to roads and bridges, which we de­pend on each and ev­ery day. The Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Civil En­gi­neers re­cently gave our na­tional in­fra­struc­ture a grade of D+.

Al­low­ing our in­fra­struc­ture to con­tinue to crum­ble be­fore our eyes means that we may not be as safe as we think we are when we are driv­ing our kids to school, or even when we brush our teeth at the sink in our own homes.

Crum­bling in­fra­struc­ture is also an ob­sta­cle to the growth of busi­nesses big and small, and if those busi­nesses are not grow­ing, they are not cre­at­ing jobs and eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity.

In­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment also ad­dresses en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, cli­mate change, en­ergy in­de­pen­dence and na­tional se­cu­rity, if we are ag­gres­sive and in­no­va­tive enough to in­clude the de­vel­op­ment and de­ploy­ment of clean and re­new­able en­ergy as part of our na­tional in­fra­struc­ture strat­egy.

Clearly, fix­ing our ne­glected in­fra­struc­ture is the very least we should do. I sup­port an in­no­va­tive ap­proach to in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment to not just make us safer and more se­cure, but to build the 21st Cen­tury econ­omy we des­per­ately need. Work­ing to­gether, we can build an econ­omy from the ground up that ben­e­fits work­ers, fam­i­lies, and busi­nesses big and small.

I will lead the way by not just sup­port­ing in­creased in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment at the fed­eral level, I will also ad­vo­cate for in­no­va­tive, yet eco­nom­i­cal na­tional in­fra­struc­ture strat­egy that in­cludes in­di­vid­u­als and the pri­vate sec­tor.

I pro­pose re­new­ing and ex­pand­ing “Build Amer­ica Bonds,” which were so suc­cess­ful dur­ing the Stim­u­lus. Th­ese bonds will al­low in­di­vid­u­als the op­por­tu­nity to in­vest in re­build­ing our in­fra­struc­ture and ex­pand­ing our econ­omy.

I will work to cre­ate a Na­tional In­fra­struc­ture Bank and a Na­tional In­fra­struc­ture Plan­ning Com­mis­sion. The I-Bank would rep­re­sent col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween govern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor to raise the nec­es­sary cap­i­tal to ag­gres­sively in­vest in our in­fra­struc­ture with­out pass­ing the cost on to tax­pay­ers. The Plan­ning Com­mis­sion would give all in­ter­ested par­ties a seat at the ta­ble and fa­cil­i­tate an in­no­va­tive and ef­fi­cient ap­proach to in­fra­struc­ture growth, un­hin­dered by po­lit­i­cal parochial­ism.

I will also sup­port in­vest­ing in the de­vel­op­ment and de­ploy­ment of clean and re­new­able en­ergy so that we can grow our econ­omy while pro­tect­ing our en­vi­ron­ment, ad­dress­ing cli­mate change and en­hanc­ing na­tional se­cu­rity. Saudi Ara­bia is al­ready pre­par­ing to be­come a net ex­porter of so­lar en­ergy. Our fail­ure to be a leader in this area will put us at an in­creas­ing dis­ad­van­tage as time goes on.

At­tempt­ing to se­cure our fu­ture as a na­tion with ar­bi­trary spend­ing cuts, like se­ques­tra­tion, has hurt our na­tion in count­less ways. It has weak­ened our mil­i­tary, de­nied ser­vice to our vet­er­ans, hin­dered eco­nomic growth and com­pro­mised our safety. This is the ap­proach of my op­po­nent, and it is the wrong ap­proach. It’s time we had lead­er­ship with a bright vi­sion for our fu­ture. My op­po­nent’s ap­proach as­sumes that our best days are be­hind us. I don’t be­lieve that, and I hope you don’t ei­ther.

I am run­ning for Congress be­cause I be­lieve that, as Amer­i­cans, we share the same goals, hopes and dreams. I will be a leader and in­no­va­tor, propos­ing and fight­ing for new ideas that re­al­ize the vi­sion of an Amer­ica where our best days lie be­fore us.

While my op­po­nent and his pre­ferred pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, Don­ald Trump, are fo­cused on build­ing a wall, I am fo­cused on cre­at­ing a brighter fu­ture for our na­tion.

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