Funding Infrastructure Repair & Maintenance

A new report from professors at Cornell University’s Program on Infrastructure Policy argues that the path towards fixing infrastructure involves user fees, public-private partnerships, and streamlined approval processes–all part of Trump’s infrastructure agenda. The report argues that current priorities are often misplaced, noting that more than half of state highway spending goes for new projects when more should be spent maintaining the roads that already exist. In particular, the report endorses mileage-based user fees to pay for roads.

Click image to download a copy of the report.

The report was published by the Committee for Economic Development, a branch of the Conference Board. Originally founded in 1916 to provide a business response to the labor movement, the Conference Board is now seen (according to Wikipedia) as the “progressive wing of the business community.” Indeed, recent reports criticize crony capitalism, advocate for more women on corporate boards of directors, and urge the elimination of many corporate tax breaks.

The report’s principal author, Richard Geddes, has previously written books advocating for more public-private partnerships in transportation projects and papers advocating reform of the Postal Service. While the Antiplanner is suspicious that some very poor practices are often covered up by calling them public-private partnerships, if done right, they can no doubt do some good for transportation users and consumers.

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2 thoughts on “Funding Infrastructure Repair & Maintenance

  1. LazyReader

    OH today has been a hilarious day for Trump.
    He explained:

    As one example, and this happened just 30 minutes ago, I was sitting with a great group of people responsible for their state’s economic development and roadways, all of you are in the room now, and one gentleman from Maryland was talking about a 18-mile road, and he brought with him some of the approvals that they have gotten and paid for. They spent $29 million for an environmental report weighing 70 pounds and costing $24,000 per page. And I said, ‘Do me a favor, I’ll make a speech in a little while. Do you mind if I take that and show it?’ So I’m going to show it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75sWHCXaEOE 7:10

  2. CapitalistRoader

    “…the Conference Board is now seen (according to Wikipedia) as the “progressive wing of the business community.” Indeed, recent reports criticize crony capitalism…”

    Ironically, it was “progressive” presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson who ushered in the era of crony capitalism by expanding the size and scope of the federal government, especially the imposition of a federal income tax in 1913. As a result money funneled into federal coffers and politicians were only to happy to dole it out in exchange for campaign contributions and votes.

    At this point 100 years later probably the #1 thing in most politicians’ minds is a federal project’s or agency’s opportunity for graft.

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