As a businessman, I know that growth requires investment.  As we look at the economic landscape going into the General Election, we see that investment in a brighter, more prosperous future for our nation is sorely lacking.  I know that economic growth and job creation remains a top priority for Americans, and in Congress I will be a leader and outspoken advocate for making the strategic investments that will create jobs and grow the economy.  First and foremost I propose a bold, innovative approach to investing in our crumbling national infrastructure.

So many of the issues that we face are either directly or indirectly related to economic growth.  Real leadership means looking for opportunities to make innovative investments in our country, communities and people that will spur job growth and help us address the issues that we face.

Want to shrink the deficit? Create jobs. Want to help small businesses?  Create jobs.  Want to make our nation more secure? Create jobs.  Want to address climate change? Create jobs.

That may seem oversimplified and it is.  The key is not to just create jobs, but to invest in the economy from the ground up to create the right kind of jobs and the right kind of economic growth that will lead to a safe, clean, healthy and prosperous future for our nation.  

Experts agree that the best place to start investing is with our crumbling national infrastructure.  Infrastructure is the backbone of our economy, and investing in our infrastructure is a wise investment in our collective future.  Unfortunately, Congress has failed to make this investment, and it is costing all of us.

Investing in infrastructure is one of the most effective ways to spur economic growth and create an environment that is beneficial to business.  According to the Brooking Institute,  “infrastructure dollars flow through the economy and create more jobs than other kinds of spending.”  According to Mark Zandi, Chief Economist for Moody’s Analytics, every dollar invested in our infrastructure provides a boost to the economy of $1.44.

Infrastructure encompasses everything, from water systems and the power to grid to roads and bridges, which we depend on each and every day.  The American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave our national infrastructure a grade of D+.  

Allowing our infrastructure to continue to crumble before our eyes means that we may not be as safe as we think we are when we are driving our kids to school, or even when we brush our teeth at the sink in our own homes.  

Crumbling infrastructure is also an obstacle to the growth of businesses big and small, and if those businesses are not growing, they are not creating jobs and economic opportunity.

Infrastructure investment also addresses environmental issues, climate change, energy independence and national security, if we are aggressive and innovative enough to include the development and deployment of clean and renewable energy as part of our national infrastructure strategy.

Clearly, fixing our neglected infrastructure is the very least we should do.  I support an innovative approach to infrastructure investment to not just make us safer and more secure, but to build the 21st Century economy we desperately need.   Working together, we can build an economy from the ground up that benefits workers, families, and businesses big and small.

I will lead the way by not just supporting increased infrastructure investment at the federal level, I will also advocate for innovative, yet economical national infrastructure strategy that includes individuals and the private sector.

I propose renewing and expanding “Build America Bonds,” which were so successful during the Stimulus.  These bonds will allow individuals the opportunity to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure and expanding our economy.

I will work to create a National Infrastructure Bank and a National Infrastructure Planning Commission.  The I-Bank would represent collaboration between government and the private sector to raise the necessary capital to aggressively invest in our infrastructure without passing the cost on to taxpayers.  The Planning Commission would give all interested parties a seat at the table and facilitate an innovative and efficient approach to infrastructure growth, unhindered by political parochialism.

I will also support investing in the development and deployment of clean and renewable energy so that we can grow our economy while protecting our environment, addressing climate change and enhancing national security.  Saudi Arabia is already preparing to become a net exporter of solar energy.  Our failure to be a leader in this area will put us at an increasing disadvantage as time goes on.

Attempting to secure our future as a nation with arbitrary spending cuts, like sequestration, has hurt our nation in countless ways.  It has weakened our military, denied service to our veterans, hindered economic growth and compromised our safety.  This is the approach of my opponent, and it is the wrong approach.  It’s time we had leadership with a bright vision for our future.  My opponent’s approach assumes that our best days are behind us.  I don’t believe that, and I hope you don’t either.

I am running for Congress because I believe that, as Americans, we share the same goals, hopes and dreams.  I will be a leader and innovator, proposing and fighting for new ideas that realize the vision of an America where our best days lie before us.

While my opponent and his preferred presidential nominee, Donald Trump, are focused on building a wall, I am focused on creating a brighter future for our nation.

Mike Parrish, Malvern

Candidate for Congress (PA-06)