Thumbs down on President Obama’s infrastructure bank
The Bond Buyer is reporting that U.S. transporation groups have given the thumbs down to President Obama’s proposed infrastructure bank. The core repayment mechanism for loans guaranteed by the proposed bank would be user fees and tolls. This contrasts to the current methods, which involve state and local governments borrowing in the municipal market to fund projects or the federal government collecting gasoline taxes to fund highway infrastructure. Given the growing opposition globally to the privatization of public assets, the core purpose of the infrastructure bank is bound to create more unease among public players and citizens. From the Bond Buyer:
American Trucking Associations president Bill Graves was skeptical.
“We’ve long advocated that roads and bridges should be paid for primarily by their users, through the most direct taxes possible: fuel taxes,” he said. “Allowing private capital to take their cut as part of an infrastructure bank, or by taxing other sectors to pay for roads and bridges, takes us further away from this core principle.”
Direct grants to state and local govts most popular part of Obama’s jobs bill
President Obama is struggling to get traction for his jobs bill. From Bloomberg:
A majority of Americans don’t believe President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan will help lower the unemployment rate, skepticism he must overcome as he presses Congress for action and positions himself for re-election.