President Trump reiterated his desire for a new transportation/infrastructure program during his address to Congress last night. “Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our beautiful land,” he said. “To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking the Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States — financed through both public and private capital — creating millions of new jobs.” The phrase “public and private capital” may indicate that he will follow Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ suggestion that Congress give private businesses tax credits to stimulate infrastructure projects.
According to Fortune, a white paper authored by Ross and an economics professor last fall argued that just $137 billion worth of tax credits would lead to $1 trillion in infrastructure expenditures over a 10-year period, though many economists argue that the credits would end up going to projects that would have happened anyway. With Congress already looking to consider a contentious legislative agenda repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, setting a budget and enacting tax reform, one report said that a vote on the infrastructure plan may be postponed until 2018.