Trump’s Plan Includes Privatizing Financing for the Nation’s Infrastructure
By Eric G Braun, Senior Writer, USRW
President Trump made the nation’s infrastructure a major campaign point and followed that up in his speech to a joint session of Congress.
“Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our beautiful land,” Trump said.
“Another Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, initiated the last truly great national infrastructure program, the building of the interstate highway system. The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding."
Trump added, “America has spent approximately six trillion dollars in the Middle East, all this while our infrastructure at home is crumbling. With these six trillion dollars, we could have rebuilt our country twice. And maybe even three times if we had people who had the ability to negotiate."
“To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States, financed through both public and private capital, creating millions of new jobs," Trump said.
This effort will be guided by two core principles: Buy American, and Hire American.
Our Secretary of Transportation, The Honorable Elaine Chao, is putting the issue on the front burner. As Road Warriors, we don’t need to be told the condition of the roads we travel every day, and neither does Chao. Her resume is solid, her experience real, and she works for a President who recognizes that the “infrastructure can” has been kicked down the road by the ghost of administrations past.
Chao was also a guest on the FOX News Sean Hannity program the night of Trumps address to congress, she spoke about the infrastructure in that interview as well.
When asked by Hannity to explain the public/private capitol idea, Chao replied, “The needs of our nation to improve our infrastructure is so great that the federal government cannot assume the cost for all of it. It behooves us as a nation to address the deteriorating infrastructure by thinking of new innovative ways that we can fund our infrastructure. President Trump has so many really exciting and novel ideas about how to finance our deteriorating infrastructure, so that once again we will become more competitive in a worldwide environment and so that America can be great once again."
A public/private partnership will play a very important part of financing our roads and bridges that are in disrepair and very dangerous. When asked to go into more detail, Chao said, “We allow different kinds of money, private sector money, to come into the United States, I’m not saying foreign, (though she slipped and started to say foreign in the sentence) to come and fund a bridge or a road, or it can be any kind of infrastructure. I should also add that the President’s initiative on infrastructure probably includes energy, water, broadband, so it’s not just roads and bridges, but to build the whole infrastructure that will make our country more competitive going forward."
“The public/private partnership allows private sector money to come into the economy and fund public works. So far, there are so many impediments to allow private sector money to come in. We should do away with all those impediments. The needs of our infrastructure are so great that the federal government cannot and should not be the only source of funding to repair our bridges, roads, and energy grids."
Fresh and different ideas and creative financing is a good way to start, but it’s a long way to the finish the job.
Time and keeping an open mind will prove if Trump has the tar to pave the way.
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