My new Public Works Financing piece:
While spelling out a complete revamp of the federal program is beyond the scope of this column, here are several guidelines.
First, we must refocus and narrow the scope of the federal program to truly federal purposes. Second, we should strengthen—rather than undermining further—the very sound users-pay/users-benefit principle. Third, where federal funding does continue, we should insist that all such projects demonstrate a benefit/cost ratio of at least 1.5. And obviously, we should remove rather than increase federal obstacles to tolling, pricing, and public-private partnerships.
A new federal program based on those four principles would be performance-based in fact, not just in rhetoric.