Treasury Department Releases Economic Analysis Of Infrastructure Investment
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Council of Economic Advisers today issued a 36 page report detailing the economic benefits that accrue from infrastructure investments.
"A New Economic Analysis of Infrastructure Investment" argues that investments in infrastructure will help connect Americans in new ways to sustain communities and increase growth. Infrastructure investments would also create more livable communities, where there are more transportation choices, improved competitiveness and expanded location- and energy-efficient housing choices.
A key focus of the report is on the need for a National Infrastructure Bank that would take federal dollars and pool those with local governments and private investors.
The report notes that a well-designed infrastructure bank could:
- Increase overall investment in infrastructure by attracting private capital to co-invest in specific infrastructure projects.
- Improve the efficiency of infrastructure investment by having a merit-based selection process for projects.
- Fill the gaps in our infrastructure funding system, which currently disadvantage investments in multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional infrastructure projects.
The report also discusses approaches for measuring congestion, the public health benefits of transit investments and building a safer and more reliable infrastructure system.
Now is an optimal time to increase the nation’s investment in transportation infrastructure, the report concludes.
"Investment in infrastructure today will employ underutilized resources and raise the nation’s productivity and economic potential in the future," the report notes. "By contrast, poorly planned, non-strategic investment is not only a waste of resources, but can also lead to lower economic growth and production in the future. That is why any increase in investment should be coupled with broad-based reform to select infrastructure projects more wisely."