With a week to go before funding for our nation’s Highway Trust Fund runs out, the Senate is working feverishly to pass legislation that would set a clear path for job-creating infrastructure spending over the next several years.
On May 20, five of the biggest banks in the world pleaded guilty to charges of interest rate manipulation and agreed to pay $2.8 billion in fines for the felonies they committed. Two of the banks, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup, are U.S.-based. Each has a long rap sheet of recent settlements for their corporate misdeeds, and each has paid large fines and settlements -- nearly $35 billion in the case of JP Morgan Chase. But otherwise, these businesses go on with no reduction of rights or privileges and with no decision makers being sent to prison.
Student loan debt is now the largest contributor to our country’s overall debt burden. The total amount of student loan debt is now more than $1.2 trillion, and on average, students graduate with $30,000 of debt, which can take 20 years or more to pay off.
While all eyes are on our national infrastructure funding plan (or lack thereof), something remarkable is happening across the country. Local governments are building innovative transportation systems to respond to 21st century problems. One new trend that stands out is an increase in protected bicycle lanes.