Given the numerous partisan fights engulfing Washington these days, it is understandable that so many Americans wonder if there is anything of importance that the two parties can agree upon. While it may not always lead the nightly news or make the front pages, there is a real opportunity for a bipartisan breakthrough on rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure.
Our nation needs roughly $3 trillion in infrastructure investment. The cost of this neglect is slow economic growth, weakened global competitiveness, and diminished quality of life. The solution is to dramatically increase our national investment in transportation, ports, water systems, energy transmission, and the digital economy. Republicans and Democrats naturally have different preferences on how to finance these investments — Republicans generally favor a heavier reliance on private financing while Democrats focus on public financing.
The magnitude of the need demands that we motivate investment from the widest possible array of sources — both public and private.
Everyone who has seriously examined the challenge of rebuilding the nation understands that the solution requires both public and private investment. The magnitude of the need demands that we motivate investment from the widest possible array of sources — both public and private.
Moreover, infrastructure projects face different funding challenges and should have available to them as broad a suite of options as possible. In many cases, the answer can be found with more avenues and opportunities for private investment. However, private investment may not be the best fit for every project which speaks to the need for a continued public commitment to infrastructure. With a little skillful negotiation, policy makers can develop a balanced and effective program.