In addition to the five facts about President Trump’s infrastructure that the non-partisan group No Labels tells us about at RealClearPolicy I think there’s a sixth fact: the program is heavily skewed towards roads and bridges—big, showy projects that might not be what we need. That’s one of the problems with the ASCE’s annual status report. It tells us a lot about what could be done and absolutely nothing about what should be done. It evaluates the condition of roads and bridges used by hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis right along with rural bridges that wouldn’t be used by a dozen people annually if it were in prime condition.
Rather than the amenities in airports that Tom Friedman incessantly squawks about, our greatest infrastructure needs are probably sewers and a power grid desperately in need of updating and a redundancy the private sector will never willingly provide.
I guess I shouldn’t stew about it. Given the 80-20 balance of state, local, and private funding vs. federal funding, few projects will probably end up being funded under the program. State and local governments are too busy paying the pensions of public employee retirees to do much of anything else.
That’s the problem with infrastructure plans. Everybody wants to fund their infrastructure needs with somebody else’s money rather than their own.