Get the Federal strings out of the Trump infrastructure plans. @veroderugy

Feb 13, 07:12 AM


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Twitter: @BatchelorShow

Get the Federal strings out of the Trump  infrastructure plans. @veroderugy

How can we invest in infrastructure in a way that is efficient and contributes to economic growth? @veroderugy

As part of its "Infrastructure Week," the Trump administration is holding infrastructure-themed events around the country this week to promote $1 trillion of private and public infrastructure investment. Based on the 2018 budget outline, we know that the administration intends to seriously streamline the permit process, reduce regulatory barriers and encourage private investment. However, lost in the debate is the fact that the private sector is already the biggest player in the infrastructure sandbox; all the federal government needs to do is get out of the way.

A little-known fact is that the private sector already owns and finances most of the nondefense infrastructure. A new paper by Chris Edwards at the Cato Institute — called "Who Owns U.S. Infrastructure?" — breaks it down in great detail. Edwards writes, "In 2015, private infrastructure assets of $40.7 trillion were four times larger than state and local assets of $10.1 trillion, and 27 times larger than federal assets of $1.5 trillion, according to the (Bureau of Economic Analysis) data." Also, 94 percent of the $3.5 trillion of funding in 2016 came from the private sector and state and local governments.