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"We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals," Trump promised cheering supporters on election night."We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. What Trump has right now is an idiosyncratic proposal for Congress to offer some 7 billion in tax breaks to private investors who want to finance toll roads, toll bridges, or other projects that generate their own revenue streams.The hope is that this tax break will lower the cost of financing and spur more investors to pour more money into these projects.
He’s proposing a large tax credit for private investors in such projects — equal to 82 percent of the equity amount in any deal.
Randal O’Toole is a transportation analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute and broadly in favor of privatizing infrastructure. For one, there’s a lot of infrastructure that’s profitable to invest in, like electrical grids.
“He would be giving tax breaks to private owners who would be investing in that infrastructure anyway,” O’Toole notes.
And, they claim, the government would recoup this lost money via tax revenue from new construction jobs and profits. (Neither Ross nor Navarro responded to a request for an interview.) As we’ll see, however, these assumptions are debatable.
Privatizing infrastructure is a controversial idea, but it’s not crazy.