Over $3 billion spent on 300,000 Unemployed Louisianans due to COVID-19. We could be rebuilding Louisiana.
Imagine if the Louisiana Legislature had acted last year to invest more in highway construction. Thousands of currently unemployed Louisianans could be working safely – outdoors – to rebuild Louisiana’s system of highways.
For over thirty years, Louisiana has said “now” is not the right time to invest in roads and bridges. We have missed out on so much as a State because of the proverbial “kicking the can down the road.” There is likely not a greater missed opportunity than the COVID-19 pandemic.
Think about it. Louisiana has spent over $3 billion so far on unemployment benefits related to COVID-19. Each year we are lucky if $700 million gets spent building roads. Can you imagine the scope of construction projects and economic renaissance that would follow if we instead put people back to work rebuilding Louisiana?
While we continue to wait for the non-existent “perfect time” to invest in roads and bridges, conditions get worse and more expensive to fix. Especially in the unusual times we are living in today, we must acknowledge that Louisiana has missed a major opportunity.
Traffic is lighter than usual and it’s construction season. Outdoor labor is safer than indoor labor in the pandemic. We could be safely rebuilding Louisiana. We could be laying a literal foundation for an economic rebound. Doing nothing is the most expensive mistake. Let’s have COVID-19 be the wake up call that makes Louisiana start demanding better.