John Boehner: Invest in Roads, not Weatherization


watch Boehner on ">PBS Newshour here

We already know what the Minority House Leader John Boehner thinks of bikes and beautification; now we learn what he thinks of efficiency and weatherization. On PBS Newshour he singles out a few things he doesn't like in the infrastructure investments:

if you look at the over $500 billion worth of spending, a lot of it’s going to fix up federal buildings, and — and $6 billion to community action programs to do weatherization programs.

Fire station at Elysian Fields Avenue and Pelopidas Streets in Gentilly, New Orleans, a WPA construction project built during the Great Depression. Source
Joe Romm at Climate progress points out that weatherization is really effective, as is fixing government buildings, creating jobs, saving money and reducing the deficit:

1. The Federal Energy Management Program invests in high-payback retrofits of federal buildings that lower the government’s energy bill — a bill which itself is paid for by taxpayers. The federal government is the single biggest user of energy in the country'

2. By reducing the energy bills of low-income families instead of offering aid, weatherization reduces dependency and liberates these funds for spending on more pressing family issues. On average, weatherization reduces heating bills by 32% and overall energy bills by $358 per year at current prices. This spending, in turn, spurs low-income communities toward job growth and economic development.

Boehner thinks that the money should go to tax deductions and if you are going to invest in infrastructure, roads are a good place:

The more money we allow to stay with American families and small businesses, they will make good choices with that money. They're either going to spend it or they're going to save it, both of which are good for the economy.

And -- and -- and we would actually preserve and create more jobs more quickly that way. And -- and the infrastructure spending, you know, I think solid road construction projects, water and sewer projects that are necessary, let's go do that.

Romm wonders why-

Of all the things that he could have criticized in the bailout bill, he picked the two most no-brainer programs in it, the save energy, cut pollution, reduce the deficit, help poor people, and, of course create jobs.

Sigh. More on Infrastructure Investment:

Sustainable and Sound Infrastructure Now.
Time for a Radical Infrastructure Overhaul
Jargon Watch: "Workforce Ready" vs "Shovel Ready"
Renovation Uses Twice As Much Labor, Half as Much Material as New ...
At Least Some American Infrastructure Investment Doesn't Involve Cars

Tags: Economics

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