The Private Sector Offers Solution to Democrats’ Expensive Infrastructure Plan

The fact that America needs to repair and expand our country’s critical operating systems stands undisputed, but far more contentious is determining how to pay for the much-needed overhaul. A recent op-ed in Mass Transit Magazine offers a practical payment solution for a five-year, $760-billion infrastructure package plan House Democrats unveiled last month: the private sector. Craig Stevens, spokesperson for Grow American’s Infrastructure Now explains:

“Strong public-private partnerships will help mobilize projects, mitigate taxpayer liabilities and prioritize the most pragmatic and pressing needs. In Europe and around the world, progressive contracting has produced more reliable services, better consumer experiences and helped deploy modern assets and technologies. It would have similar results here in the states and provide the impetus to get a deal off the ground.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the United States’ infrastructure a “D” grade in 1998 and almost two decades later failed to improve it even one letter grade, instead America received a “D+” in 2017. Even more concerning, 2017 saw six categories’ grades remain unchanged from 2013, Aviation, Bridges, Dams, Drinking Water, Energy, and Roads, and three categories, Parks, Solid Waste, and Transit’s grades decline. America needs an infrastructure boost, and a workable solution, like public-private partnerships, to support paying for the daunting bill. Stevens further detailed:

“Public-private partnerships offer a paradigm shift. Unlike government, private builders and operators have a financial interest in delivering high-quality services. That incentive drives modernization and new technologies, which make roads, bridges, airports, railroads and telecom systems safer and more reliable, and the experience for consumers more enjoyable. It also shifts financial risks off taxpayers and onto private enterprise, a critical point worth emphasizing.”

This bill represents an opportunity for lawmakers to come together and pass a serious bill that will benefit all Americans. Stevens articulately summarized the issue:

“Lawmakers are right to prioritize our country’s infrastructure. The United States needs as much as $2 trillion of investment over the next 10 years to modernize and bring our infrastructure into good repair. But Washington shouldn’t go at it alone. Working with the private sector will improve efficiencies, produce better services, protect our communities, and bolster our economy – not to mention, help answer the looming question of how to pay for a comprehensive infrastructure agreement.”

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