posted at 08:50
Author Name: Business Insider
Americas Crumbling Infrastructure: Bridging The Gap
The Highway Trust Fund, a pot of federal cash that covers a quarter of spending by states on infrastructure, will have to start withholding money this summer to keep its balance above zero, as required by law. America saw two great booms in infrastructure spending in the past century, the first during the Great Depression, when the Pulaski skyway was built, and the second in the 1950s and 60s, when most of the interstate highway system was. Public infrastructure spending as a share of GDP has declined to about half the European level. Something similar is unfolding at the state and local level, where three quarters of all spending on infrastructure occurs. The involvement of two foreign infrastructure finance companies is telling: because America has been slow to adopt public-private partnerships its companies have little experience of them. A LONG ROAD AHEAD. Jeff Immelt, the boss of GE, an industrial conglomerate, reckons that big public infrastructure projects require some government involvement, whether through subsidies, loan-guarantees or public-private partnerships. Virginia has increased its sales tax to pay for infrastructure. Michigan's governor, Rick Snyder, proposed raising taxes to spend an additional $1 billion a year on infrastructure.

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