How Trump Can Get a Better Deal on Infrastructure

By David Ditch

Federal lawmakers have been talking about their desire for bipartisan legislation on infrastructure since before President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

This April, a meeting between Trump and Democratic leaders produced a $2 trillion figure for an undefined infrastructure package.

That price tag alone guarantees more involvement and control from Washington, which has not demonstrated an abundance of competence over the years.

The president would do better to avoid engaging in an unwinnable bidding war with big-spending Democrats and instead focus on deregulation, which would boost infrastructure investment from the private sector along with state and local governments.

A Heritage Foundation analysis shows how the president and Congress can work together to implement spending and regulatory reforms that would unlock more than $1 trillion in additional infrastructure value without adding another cent to deficits or raising taxes.

The private sector and state and local governments currently own and maintain most of the nation’s roads, airports, and utilities. The vast majority of infrastructure serves limited areas and specific populations.

In general, the people who benefit the most should be the ones who have ownership over infrastructure and who assume the costs.

Proposals from congressional Democrats have repeatedly sought to turn the funding and ownership structure upside down by imposing federal control over more of the nation’s infrastructure.

Supporters of the Green New Deal, for example, want to throw untold billions of dollars into rail projects that are incompatible with the nation’s geography and how most Americans live day to day.

The reality of the situation is this: America does not need $2 trillion in federally directed infrastructure spending, the country cannot afford ever-increasing budget deficits, and working families cannot stomach sharp tax increases.

Rather than find ways to spend even more taxpayer dollars at the federal level, U.S. leaders should focus on getting more value for those dollars.

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From:: Daily Signal – Feed

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