Trump To Unveil $1 Trillion Infrastructure Investment Plan Soon
According to Elaine Chao, Donald Trump’s Department of Transportation Secretary, the Trump administration will release details from its promised $1 trillion infrastructure development plan in the coming weeks.
A working version of the bill will likely be ready for congressional debate by the third quarter.
She said that the bill will help “kick off our collaboration with Congress”, intimating that infrastructure spending is something that both the executive and legislative branches–not to mention both republicans and democrats—generally support, at least in principle.
And they should: the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the US a D+ on their 2013 infrastructure “report card”. They also said $3.6 trillion would be needed just to maintain our current roads, bridges, dams etc.
So $1 trillion probably won’t be enough—but it’s a good start.
Signs of greater cooperation would be welcome news for the president, whose agenda has been stymied by congress at every turn, be it on spending cuts or funding for the wall.
And from what Chao told us about the bill, it looks fairly palatable—even for a hostile Congress.
As of now, taxpayers would front $200 billion, while the remaining $800 billion would come from the private sector through public-private partnerships.
Of course, there is a concern that relying so heavily on private financing will disadvantage smaller communities, who may lack the revenue stream to entice private investors.
And ironically, these are often the very communities where said infrastructure is needed most.
Of course, there are other issues surrounding the private financing of infrastructure projects: if the goal of building a new highway is to improve overall economic efficiency, the imposition of permanent tolls that conform to a profit-seeking model often undermines this goal.
A temporary usage levy, or debt-financing would probably be more efficient in the long run.
But either way, America needs the investment, and Trump promised it. So let’s make it happen.