Before a crowd of 10,000 union members and their families in Milwaukee this Labor Day, President Obama rolled out a new and ambitious $50 billion transportation proposal to rebuild, improve and modernize America's roads, rails and runways.
According to the White House, this plan would:
- Rebuild 150,000 miles of roads
- Construct and maintain 4,000 miles of rail, "enough to stretch coast-to-coast."
- Reconstruct 150 miles of airport runways and
- Put into place a NextGen air traffic control system that will reduce travel time and delays for American travelers.
- Create a national infrastructure bank.
During his speech, the President dropped his usual talk of bipartisanship and slammed the GOP for consistently being 'the party of no,' no matter the issue.
"If I said the sky was blue, they'd say no. If I said fish live in the sea, they'd say no."
He also addressed the phenomena of fear-mongering and why it's so detrimental to our country's progress:
It's easy for folks to stir up stuff and turn people on each other, everybody sets their sights a little lower. That's not who we are. We do not give up. We do not quit. Whenever times have seemed at their worst, Americans have been at their best. Because it is in those times when we roll up our sleeves and remember that we will rise or fall together - as one nation, and one people. That's the spirit that started the labor movement.
Alone we may be weak, divided we may fall, but if we are united, we are strong. That's why they call them unions. That's why we're called the United States of America. I'm gonna make this case all across America.
It was truly refreshing to see President Obama acknowledge our government's responsibility to continue spending money to put Americans back to work and get us out of this economic downturn. His Labor Day infrastructure spending proposal places the importance of giving working people a free and fair chance to get ahead well ahead of protecting Wall Street interests--something middle class Americans need if we're ever going to level the playing field against corporate greed.
Full transcript of Obama's Labor Day remarks here.