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Trump Thinks A $200B Bonus Could Incentivize States To Sell Public Assets To Fund Infrastructure Improvements


The new administration wants to pay for U.S. infrastructure improvements in part by incentivizing states to sell control of public assets.

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget was released Tuesday and called for spending $200B over a decade to incentivize states and private investors to invest into American infrastructure, the Washington Post reports. Trump advisers said the government could pay local governments a bonus to encourage them to sell public assets, including airports and bridges, and then allocate the proceeds toward future projects.

The idea is not new. Australia used a similar policy when it leased a public electric grid to fund improvements to the Sydney Metro, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tried to sell Midway International Airport but abandoned the effort in 2013 after an important bidder dropped out.

The Post said it is unclear how Congress will receive the idea, and while there are supporters of the plan, there are also bipartisan concerns that the government has been resistant to funding needed infrastructure improvements in the past and that selling public assets is not the best way forward.