Our country’s infrastructure needs to stand alone as a national priority, even without considering the extremely positive benefit it will have of generating millions of well-paying jobs.
Facts - The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that fixing all the roads, bridges, public transit, railroads, ports, airports, schools, waste systems, levees, dams, drinking water facilities, and hazardous waste installations in all fifty states would cost $3.6 trillion by 2020.
Infrastructure is a governmental responsibility at the local, state, and federal levels, but the federal government hasn’t been contributing its share – a problem that will only increase based on the recent debt-increasing tax bill.
Trump’s plan, which emphasizes investment and tax credits to private industries while largely ignoring the essential duty of funding our infrastructure, is inadequate, irresponsible and costlier. It will, based on past public-private ventures, result in the taxpayers footing the bill.
- I support addressing this lack of infrastructure funding with responsible payment of the costs generated by higher user fees and/or taxes.
- I do not support Trump’s proposed tax-credits for any significant portion of the necessary infrastructure financing, based on the poor results of public-private ventures to date.
- I support historical bonding by state and local governments, direct federal funding, raising the federal gasoline tax (this is the nation’s most reliable source of revenue for financing roads, bridges, and public transportation and Congress has not increased it since 1993), and the creation of a federal depository bank (an infrastructure bank for low-interest loans now being implemented in North Dakota).
I would also support the investigation of the Federal Reserve issuing money (as Lincoln did for the transcontinental railroad, or as was done under quantitative easing for the recent recession) and objective, accurate, life-cycle cost analysis with private-public construction and operation options to verify their possible cost-effectiveness for taxpayers.