Saturday, May 20, 2017

Seven Ways Trump and Congress Can Improve Infrastructure without Spending a Dime of Taxpayer Money

“Infrastructure Week” sees the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, unions, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and many others telling Congress that “It’s Time To Build.” Yet a quick perusal of Infrastructure Week’s website suggests a more accurate description of their demand is, “It’s Time to Spend More Taxpayer Money.”
This is a shame. With President Trump pledging $1 trillion of new public and private investment across a decade and Democrats preferring direct federal spending, the group could be pushing at an open door. But the cross-party obsession on federal spending levels ignores opportunities to make infrastructure development more efficient without increasing demands on taxpayers.
In order to get the biggest “bang for our buck”, infrastructure policy should encourage innovation, cost-effective provision, and investment where it is most economically beneficial. This means putting aside short-term concerns about “creating jobs” and “shovel-ready projects,” and focusing on long-run growth. Here are seven ways to do that:

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