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Improving Our Infrastructure

If you’re wondering why our roads and bridges have fallen into disrepair, or why our trains and buses face service cuts despite the fact that tolls and fares have doubled and tripled, then you’re not alone. The reason why New York is unable to make necessary improvements or timely repairs despite increases in commuter fees is that debt servicing is taking up an increasing portion of our state and municipal budgets. Debt servicing involves repayment of bonds and loans, as well as any interest. According to the US Census Bureau, as of 2015, New York sits on approximately $137 billion in sovereign debt.9 Recently, Governor Cuomo announced that he was going to invest heavily in our infrastructure. Projects such as the East Side LIRR Access, a revitalized Pennsylvania Station and LaGuardia Airport, as well as new bridges and repairs to storm-damaged tunnels, are among the big ticket items that he’s borrowed billions from the bond market to make a reality. So who will end up paying for this?

As interest rates go up, debt servicing will become a more significant portion of the state budget. To keep up with all of its other obligations, Albany will be forced to pass the increased costs along to municipalities, who will then pass them along to you, the commuter. Since debt servicing makes our community unaffordable for people to live in, I will propose the creation of a national infrastructure bank in which all states would have a pro-rata interest based on the number of debt issues and revenue generated from each state’s projects. This bank will be funded primarily by corporations, who are presently hoarding trillions of dollars in untaxed profits overseas. If you have to pay US income tax, regardless of where you live in the world, then so too should multinational corporations, who parlay the stability and strength of our nation to market their goods and services here at home and abroad.

In Congress, I will focus on transportation as an area in dire need of improvement. A primary concern for Long Islanders is congestion in our skies, much of it originating from airports along the east coast. I want to work with Hyperloop One in a public-private partnership to help bring substantial improvements and provide significantly faster travel times along the Northeast Corridor and Long Island Rail Road. Not only will this proposal alleviate congestion and pollution on our roads and in our skies, but this massive undertaking will create thousands of good-paying jobs throughout the region.