Turning to the Treasury

News AASHTO Journal December 27, 2002
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Senator Max Baucus (D-Wyo

Senator Max Baucus (D-Wyo.) has unveiled a $160 billion economic stimulus package that includes a $4 billion highway infrastructure investment.

Baucus has proposed a series of initiatives for the reauthorization of the federal aid highway program. The economic stimulus approach he proposed on Thursday is a $160 billion plan for 2003 including revenue sharing with the states, the extension of unemployment insurance benefits and tax breaks for individuals and small businesses. It also proposes to create some 190,000 jobs via the $4 billion federal highway investment package.

One alternative Baucus is proposing to generate the additional $4 billion in highway investment is to direct the U.S. Treasury to sell $4 billion in tax credit bonds immediately. Proceeds from bonds would be deposited in the Highway Trust Fund and then sent out to states as FY 2003 apportionments. The $4 billion would be obligated by states within six months of receiving the funds. Baucus estimates that of the 190,000 jobs generated during 2003-2010, 85% would be created within the first three years.

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