U.S. Infrastructure Crumbling, with Little Consensus on Who Should to Fix It
It’s complicated: each system is designed, governed, financed and delivered differently
While everyone agrees that something should be done about our infrastructure, there's little consensus on where the funding should come from. Robert Puentes, director of the Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative at the Brookings Institution, says policy discussions are complicated because infrastructure is such a broad subject, and the federal government’s role is more limited than most Americans believe.
In an interview with U.S. News and World report, Puentes explained, “...The federal government has a big regulatory role, but when it comes to overall spending and impact, its role is relatively small. If you take transportation and water, for example, the federal share of spending is only about 27 percent.
“…Our next president needs to concentrate on things that the federal government can do that are national issues, and maybe leave the rest to the states and localities.
“…Innovative metros are working with the private sector to figure out not just how to get things done but what the proper investments are. Detroit, for example, is building a rail line in the middle of the city that’s a collaboration between the federal government, the city, the state and philanthropists.” Read the entire article here.
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James Oberstar (D-Minn.), served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 2011, and was chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2007 to 2011. He was one of the staunchest congressional advocates of highways, transit and other public works.
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