Obama touts jobs in infrastructure
NEW YORK TIMES
MIAMI -- President Barack Obama came to the congested ocean port here on Friday to promote his plans to rebuild the nation's "raggedy" roads, bridges, schools and other infrastructure with a marriage of public and private investment.
At the end of a week absorbed by social issues such as gun control and gay rights, the president returned to the economic challenges he has called his top priorities with a set of proposals to generate money for construction projects.
"What are we waiting for?" Obama asked, surrounded by massive cranes and cargo containers. "There's work to be done. There are workers who are ready to do it. Let's prove to the world that there's no better place to do business than right here in the United States of America, and let's get started rebuilding America."
Expanding on ideas from his first term and this year's State of the Union address, Obama proposed a series of tax breaks and loans to stimulate private investment. Among other things, new America Fast Forward Bonds would help state and local governments borrow money for projects, while foreign pension and retirement funds would have a tax penalty eliminated so they could invest in infrastructure in the United States on a similar basis as American funds. Grant programs that were part of the president's stimulus program would be expanded by $4 billion.