In a new report for the Heritage Foundation, Michael Sargent summarizes what we need on infrastructure from the incoming Trump administration. I agree with all of Michael’s points, which I paraphrase here:
- Ignore rhetoric about crumbling highways and falling-down bridges. America’s infrastructure needs improvements, but the scare stories are off-base.
- Reduce government red tape to speed investment.
- Repeal harmful labor rules, which raise the costs of infrastructure construction.
- Embrace privatization.
- Approve energy projects blocked by the Obama administration.
- Repeal the net neutrality regulations on the Internet.
- Limit regulations on emerging technologies.
- Cut the federal highway gas tax, end spending on urban transit, and reduce the federal role in highways.
- Privatize air traffic control, eliminate subsidies for airports, and remove barriers for the states to restructure airports as self-funded businesses.
- Do not pass a federal infrastructure spending stimulus.
- Do not use repatriated corporate earnings for a government stimulus. If such revenues arise from corporate tax reform, use them to reduce the corporate tax rate.
- Do not create new tax loopholes or subsidies for infrastructure.
- Do not create a federal infrastructure bank. That would lead to more bureaucracy, subsidies, and central control.
I would add to Michael’s points that I share concerns expressed by Trump and others that America should have world-class infrastructure. But the way to get it is not through subsidies, regulations, and centralization. Instead, the incoming administration should focus on market-based reforms to privatize facilities, reduce subsidies and regulations, and increase competition.