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Gov. Daniels Touts Indiana Toll Road Lease

Leonard Gilroy
May 19, 2009, 11:18am

Infrastructure Investor magazine's excellent May 2009 cover story (subscription required) reflects back on the $3.85 billion lease of the Indiana Toll Road and features a wide-ranging interview with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels that's chock full of good quotes. Several are posted below:

Gov. Daniels discussed the toll road lease in Reason's 2006 Annual Privatization Report, available here. This excerpt seems worth repeating:

Any businessperson will recognize our decision here as the freeing of trapped value from an underperforming asset, to be redeployed into a better use with higher returns. We viewed it as critical that the dollars liberated from one capital asset must all be reinvested into long-term capital uses, and not dribbled away on any short-term operating purpose.

However obvious from a business and economic standpoint, this proposal touched off enormous controversy and opposition when proposed in the political realm. Many citizens, with a sincere sense of responsibility, misperceived that value was simply being pulled forward from future years. Many have not yet understood that the state is being paid more than $2 billion more than the road conceivably would have been worth in public hands. Far from "stealing from our children," we have acted to leave our children billions in new public assets—roads, bridges, airports—that they would otherwise not have enjoyed. Turning down this deal would have been the real theft from the future.

» Reason's Transportation Research and Commentary

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform

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