$905M in Grants for Rail Projects
When President Joe Biden was elected in the most controversial Presidential Election in history, he made a promise of enormous infrastructure spending to revitalize many aspects of American society. Most economic experts agree that, at least in the short term, infrastructure spending is an ideal way to spend money. Not only does it ensure that our roads, bridges, sewers, etc, remain strong, but it also provides thousands of jobs for Americans who will need to be hired to handle these infrastructure upgrades. So it's no surprise now that as of July 1, the US Department of Transportation is awarding over $905 million in infrastructure grants to span over 24 individual projects in 18 separate states.
This money comes from the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program, which is a discretionary program, meaning it doesn't have a fixed budget per se. It will find projects in need of revitalization and receive money as needed to reward these grants. In essence, this new government has a blank check for this sort of spending. Since Biden took office, Congress has given him a blank check to spend, and the Supreme Court has ruled a few times now that the President now has the power to make appointments without Congressional approval, which is certainly a first for any American president.
However, with all of these freedoms that no other American President before Joe Biden has ever possessed, this means that a lot of blame looms over his head too. If, for instance, these projects fail, the money is misappropriated, or any other negative occurrence should befall these revitalization projects, the President is going to assume the bulk of the blame, whether he wants it or not.
As for these 24 new projects, some private companies are also pitching in here. Though they are not contributing to the grants in a charitable sense. In another unprecedented move, the USDT is allowing stakeholders to actually invest. In essence, part of America's public rail systems are being sold to shareholders like CSX.
A silver lining here, many claim, is that as long as private firms are going to have a hand in these revitalization projects, then they have a higher likelihood of being done correctly. Far too often the things government control end up failing. The United States Postal Service eats up more money per its size than any other program. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a nightmare. And America's public schools are losing ground on a global scale every year. The government doesn't seem to handle business well at all, so a lot of people are thankful that private firms are buying into these railroad projects.
The individual projects have not all been released yet. All we know so far is that there are 24 projects on the docket, and that Georgia is going to be among the states to fix up their railroad infrastructure. The Georgia Ports Authority was the first organization to receive a grant for a project, though the others are expected to be awarded very shortly.
The Ongoing Need for Railroads
Upon hearing about this news, a lot of critics are already coming out of the woodwork to slam the USDT and President Joe Biden for this, claiming that our highways and residential roads need transportation grants far more than railroads. However, railroad experts disagree. Most of the US rail systems were constructed around 200 years ago, and most have just been maintained per the status quo and never actually updated or revitalized. A lot of people think that it's time to finally modernize our railways in America.
After all, our railways are still very widely used. Sure, most people drive their automobiles all over America's interstate systems and its residential roads, but there is still so much that relies upon our railroad system that many simply overlook. All sorts of cargo ships across the nation every day on our rail system. Plus, not all rail systems are for freight. AmTrak, for instance, has a famous commuter line that runs from DC to New York and everyone from executives and politicians to regular tourists take this train every day. We're not sure if any of the money will end up there, but it is something Biden has spoken about improving for years.
More than anything, fixing up America's rail systems opens up the opportunity for thousands of high-paying jobs, at a time when many Americans definitely need a financial boost.
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