Keynote speech by Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell during the 2010 American Water Summit.
After 34 years of public service, including 24 years as an elected official, Governor Rendell continues to pursue many of the same issues he was passionate about while serving. His commitment to making America a cleaner, more efficient place and to fostering investment in our nation's crumbling infrastructure is as strong as it ever was. Rendell has become a champion for progress in the area of alternative energy, and now serves as a consultant or board member for several green and alternative energy firms, including Own Energy, Element Partners and Ocean Thermal Energy. He has also remained heavily involved in the campaign for government efficiency and strategic cost cutting through his work with entities such as Government Sourcing Solutions, Public Financial Management and Greenhill Advisors.
Perhaps no other issue has been and continues to be as important to Governor Rendell as America's dire need to rebuild and reinvest in its infrastructure. As Governor, Rendell worked with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to create an organization called "Building America's Future." The organization focuses on the need for a more significant investment in American infrastructure projects to ensure that America maintains its place as a global economic power. Governor Rendell currently serves as Co-Chair of the organization and travels throughout the country speaking about this issue.
Rendell served two terms as Governor of Pennsylvania (2003-2011) and oversaw a budget of $28.3 billion as the chief executive of the nation's 6th-most-populous state. As Governor, Rendell was committed to making government more responsible and responsive to the public's needs, and he successfully cut wasteful spending and improved efficiency leading to savings of over $1 billion. His legislative agenda focused on commonsense political reform and putting progress ahead of partisanship. Through his unprecedented strategic investments, he energized Pennsylvania's economy, revitalized communities, improved education, protected the environment, expanded access to health care to all children, and made affordable prescription drugs available to older Pennsylvanians. During his two terms as Mayor of Philadelphia (1992-2000), Rendell eliminated a crippling deficit, balanced the City's budget, and generated five consecutive budget surpluses. Philadelphia's renaissance, which The New York Times called "the most stunning turnaround in recent urban history," is largely attributed to his determination, inspiration, and energy.
Before serving as Mayor, Rendell was elected District Attorney of Philadelphia for two terms from 1978 through 1985. Rendell also served as Chairman of the Democratic National Com - mittee during the 2000 Presidential election. He currently sits on several boards, is a Brookings Fellow and teaches government and politics courses at the University of Pennsylvania. Rendell recently finished his autobiography, A Nation of Wusses. It is scheduled to be released in early June. Advanced copies are available at: http://www.wiley.com/buy/1118279050
An Army veteran, he holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Villanova Law School.
Kathy Shandling is the Executive Director of the International Private Water Association (IPWA), a global advocacy/non-profit organization that serves as a conduit between the public and private sector players involved in the water/wastewater infrastructure project and service arena. IPWA specifically promotes the implementation of public-private partnerships and the development/use of long-term sustainable financing tools. Ms. Shandling was instrumental in launching the IPWA Financial Tools Taskforce that has been steadfast in its support of evolving local currency financing initiatives for the funding of water/wastewater infrastructure projects in developing countries.
Prior to joining IPWA in CY2000, Ms. Shandling had been involved in the international project finance/infrastructure finance arena through positions held at Infrastructure Finance Magazine, the World Council for Infrastructure Development, and Global Finance Media. She has authored several articles for leading water infrastructure publications including a recent cover story focused on the growth of global private equity funds in the water sector.
Kathy Shandling holds an MSc Economics (political economics) from The London School of Economics and a BA from Wellesley College.
Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell discusses the inherent benefits of spending money on infrastructure development. He explains that while the cost to repair America's aging infrastructure may seem daunting, the hundreds of billions used to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would easily fund the project.
Measures employed by governments to stabilize the economy, specifically by adjusting the levels and allocations of taxes and government expenditures. When the economy is sluggish, the government may cut taxes, leaving taxpayers with extra cash to spend and thereby increasing levels of consumption. An increase in public-works spending may likewise pump cash into the economy, having an expansionary effect. Conversely, a decrease in government spending or an increase in taxes tends to cause the economy to contract. Fiscal policy is often used in tandem with monetary policy. Until the 1930s, fiscal policy aimed at maintaining a balanced budget; since then it has been used countercyclically, as recommended by John Maynard Keynes, to offset the cycle of expansion and contraction in the economy. Fiscal policy is more effective at stimulating a flagging economy than at cooling an inflationary one, partly because spending cuts and tax increases are unpopular and partly because of the work of economic stabilizers. See alsobusiness cycle.
It has been clear to everyone but the Democrats in Congress that the GOP has no intention of providing for the public welfare. They don't want to invest in infrastructure that is used by all people, they want to pave their own driveways in gold. They do not want public education, they want private schools where their kids can avoid interacting with blacks and Mexicans. They do not want to care for the widows with medicare and SS, they want to buy a second home or yacht. They do not want to care for those with disabilities; they want them to beg with a tin cup for help from a church, which is a joke...because churches aren't interested in social justice,they want to build edifices to "honor God." The money for infrastructure is tied up in two wars $8 billion per month...The money is tied up in big businesses that didn't pay taxes in 2005-2010; they hid it in bogus non-profits that influence elections. The money is tied up in 1000 military bases on foreign soil, which should be paid for by those countries (if they want them there at all) and removed, if they don't. The money for infrastructure is tied up in subsidies to WS which doesn't pay $10/trade as you and I do, but pennies on the dollar, so they can engage in risky behavior. The money for infrastructure is hidden in subsidies to big businesses making over $500K who may not even be located on US land. The money for infrastructure is tied up in medical insurance companies who have to take a 25% cut every time somebody is sick; we need single payer, but we won't get it because they wield because they have paid for the elections of our Congressmen! The money is there, but it is being GROSSLY misused, and apparently if we don't do what the big wigs on WS want, they will cripple our economy on purpose. Remind me again, do I really live in a democracy?
Watch American Water Summit
(Watch Now! Plus 30 Days Unlimited Viewing)
Watch American Water Summit Keynote: PA Governor Edward Rendell