Contractors want infrastructure changes in D.C.
Quick Facts about Why and How the Federal Government Should Continue to Fund Vital Infrastructure
in the New Age of Public Austerity
Why the Federal Government Should Continue Investing in Infrastructure
• The Constitution – The Constitution charges the federal government with facilitating interstate commerce, including supporting interstate highways, airways and waterways.
• National Economic Security – Neglecting infrastructure undermines economic growth, weakening our power and security.
• Protect business From Hidden Taxes – Aging and unrepaired infrastructure adds shipping, delivery and delay costs for most businesses, serving as a hidden tax on their operations.
• Avoid Unfunded Mandates – As long as mandating safety standards for things like drinking water and transportation are in the federal interest, we need to keep funding those mandates.
• Save Taxpayers money – Maintaining infrastructure is cheaper than fixing it when it breaks. Investing in aging roads, locks and water systems now will save taxpayers money over the medium and long term.
What’s Wrong with Our Current Approach
• Too Many Barriers to Private Sector Investment in Infrastructure – Restrictive state and federal laws are chasing billions in private sector infrastructure investments from overseas.
• We Lack Innovative Approaches to Financing Projects – State and local officials have too few options for financing complex infrastructure projects.
• Federal Reviews Take Too Long – When it takes 13 years to get a project from concept to completion, something is wrong.
• Too Little Flexibility – State and local officials have too little flexibility, forcing them to spend money solving problems that don’t exist.
• Federal Earmarks Limit Construction – Many earmarks are an expensive way to buy press releases and a bad way to build infrastructure.
• Too Many Federal Funds are Being Spent on Programs that Aren’t in Federal Interest – We’re using federal funds to build fitness and recreational facilities and bike lanes while vital interstate commerce corridors clog and deteriorate.
Essential Reforms to Vital Infrastructure Programs
- Eliminate Programs that Aren’t in the Federal Interest
- Give State and Local Officials More Flexibility
- Streamline the Federal Environmental Review Process and Set Deadlines for Completion
- Encourage Private Sector Investments in, and Operation of, Infrastructure
- Expand Innovative Financing Options for Funding Infrastructure Programs
- Eliminate Current Approach to Earmarks
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