America's Infrastructure Needs
This graphic ran in the Wall Street Journal yesterday ("White House to Roll Out Trump Infrastructure Plan."
The data compiled by the American Society of Civil Engineers likely doesn't include all kinds of projects that could be done, but aren't already listed in various "transformational project action plans" or "constrained long range transportation plans"--such as a separated blue/silver Metrorail line in DC.
-- ASCE's 2017 Infrastructure Report Card
From the Los Angeles Times editorial "Trump's infrastructure plan isn't a plan. It's a fantasy":
President Trump's infrastructure plan isn't a plan. It's fantasy. The outline the administration put forth Monday is essentially this: The federal government will offer a diminished amount of money — $200 billion over 10 years — for building or repairing roads, bridges, airports, seaports, energy projects and water systems and somehow, magically, $1.5 trillion to $1.8 trillion in infrastructure spending will materialize.
Where would all that money come from? The president's framework doesn't say, but the intent is for the federal government to spend a lot less money on infrastructure and for local and state governments to spend a lot more. Oh, and private investors are expected to rain down money on infrastructure projects too. ...
But the Trump framework is short on funding and pragmatism. The plan calls for $200 billion in federal spending over a decade, but much of that money is set aside for rural communities and loan programs. One hundred billion dollars would go to competitive grants, providing a mere $10 billion a year for roads, railroads, airports, water treatment plants, flood control systems and contaminated land cleanups.
That's barely enough money to make a dent in the estimated $2 trillion of needed transportation, water and energy system upgrades. By way of comparison, the federal government spent $96 billion on transportation and water projects alone in 2014.
The $200 billion wouldn't be new money. It would be paid for by cutting other infrastructure-funding programs.
According to the editorial, the Trump Administration document calls out LA County's Measure M local sales tax to fund transit projects as an example of what local jurisdictions can do to raise money for such projects.
But typically, Republicans rail against such measures, and when it comes to gasoline excise taxes organize referenda to overturn increases ("Group aims to repeal California gas tax hike on November 2018 ballot," LAT) and they are hard to pass anyway ("Most California voters already want to overturn gas tax increase, poll," LAT).
Separately, the Metropolitan Area Projects program in Oklahoma City, regional parks tax and investment programs (e.g., Hamilton County, Ohio; Salt Lake County, etc.), the Allegeny County Pennsylvania Regional Assets District, and the Denver Scientific and Cultural Facilities District are models for local infrastructure and cultural financing programs.