Sunday, October 23, 2011

Opinion: Should private investment replace block grants and categorical grants in order to maintain/improve important infrastructure?

With U.S. infrastructure aging, public funds scant, more projects going private

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/with-us-infrastructure-aging-public-funds-scant-more-projects-going-private/2011/10/17/gIQAGTuv4L_story.html?hpid=z3

24 comments:

npaape said...

Private investment should not replace block/categorical grants due to the fact everyone will be using this infrastructure. One coorporation should not have to pay for an entire road or building. Everyone is currently taxed and using this system so everyone should have to pay. Also if a private investment is paying will there be rules against who can use this structure? All in all it should be up to the people to determine if this structure should even exist.

Kelly M said...

yes, i believe that private investment should replace block grants and categorical grants in order to improve and maintain infrastructure. Cities and states are building new bridges, roads and tunnels to make transportation easier. States are using private money to do this and they are regaining the money by doing things like tolling people when they cross a newly built bridge.

aschulist said...

I think that private investment should replace block and/or categorical grants for a few reasons. First of all, it will create more jobs in the private sector, which is crucial to fixing the current economy. Also, if private companies are fixing or building new infrastructure, it will not get done at all. This would make citizens who use the roads very angry at the government for not taking care of it. If the government responded to that anger and actually did provide money for construction, they would just be going into more debt, which is the last thing this country needs.

RPochowski said...

Yes. Private investment should replace block grants and categorical grants, because instead of relying on the government to always have to supply infrastructure, private investment places a monitary motive for share holders and the people. When there is a motive for money the results will show.

pliberski said...

I don't believe that they should replace grants, however they should become more common. It is a great idea to help out small communities unable to afford construction in certain areas by investing privately. This is a great way to help the community without extremely high expenses.

jblommel said...

Private investment is a good way to fund national infrastructure replacement. Having these projects funded by the state and federal governments will only drive up taxes and the national debt/ spending deficit. Also, if these projects are funded federally, money paid to the government from someone in Wisconsin could go to replace highways in Florida, not benefiting the taxpayer in Wisconsin at all. By having the roads owned and maintained by private companies, only those who actually use the road will have to bear the cost of it, making it less of a burden to the rest of the taxpayers.

That said, private companies should not be able to own a road forever. The money they pay to the state or government to "buy" the road, bridge, or tunnel should be more of a "lease." This way, the company would have a limited amount of time to construct the road and collect tolls to cover their costs and make a small profit, which could be their "salary" for the job. The company would then turn the road back over to the state or federal government. This would also prevent the private company from making the road tolls overly expensive or prolonged for the average person using these transit systems. These measures could be further enforced by law by having the amount of time the company is allowed to "own" the road and the price of the tolls limited in writing in the contract with the private company.

TPassow said...

I believe that the private investments shouldn't completely replace block/categorical grants, because then if there is no interest in a certain area by any company there is still the government grants to keep that area up to date so it doesn't fall into disrepair. On the other hand, having less governmental grants given out would keep the federal budget deficit lower, and so they would have more money to spend on a military help or other important people protection systems for example.

awichgers said...

How the infrastructure is maintained/improved should depend on who benefits from that infrastructure maintainance/improvement. If it affects the general public, the improvement should be paid for through block and categorical grants, because both public and private (mostly public) entities would benefit. However, I do not believe that private investment should be eliminated. Private businesses should not rely on corporate welfare to improve and maintain infrastructure that only those particular businesses benefit from. If all infrastructure maintainance and improvement were paid for through private investment, corporations would go out of business due to this heavy financial burden. The maintainance/improvement of important infrastructure should be balanced. It should be paid for generally through grants, but private investment should be encouraged when necessary.

JakobL said...

I think private investment should replace block or categorial grants. If you have to pay for every big tunnel, highway or bridge, there would be different areas with a different amount of bridges, highways, tunnels, etc., than equality between the citizens would be gone. People don't deserve higher payments when they're living in a specific geographical area.

KKotecki said...

I believe that private investment should replace block grants and categorical grants because it will help the private sector and all of the taxpayers. It will help the private sector by providing more jobs for them. Normally, on busy infrastructures the people who pass through on a normal day are people that pass through every day on their way to work or something of the sort. Therefore they are the people that cause the infrastructures to wear down (unintentionally) because they use those infrastructures every day. Because they cause the damage, they should have to help pay for the infrastructure. The average tax payer who may not use that road or bridge should not have to help pay for the damage left by other people. This way the taxes payed by the citizens could go to help a better cause in the government.

PaulHurlbut said...

I do not believe that private investments should completely replace block / categorical grants. However I do think that there are good times where people would benefit from them. We need to find a healthy medium. I think that states need to apply for block / categorical grants when easy and permitted to do so. I think that it helps give jobs to government workers. Some may say that private companies do the same thing, and I would agree with that. Private companies are an advantage, though, when it comes to being frugal and saving money. It also helps out the shareholders (people) so everyone is making a little more money. If I had to lean one way over the fence, it would be towards private investment, but, as I stated before, I do not think it is necessary to eliminate block / categorical grants.

Jwolf said...

Yes, I think private investment should replace block/categorical grants to support and improve infrastructure. If the government is unwilling to repair a bridge, a private company should have the option to rebuild it. This would place more jobs in the private sector. A question would be, if a private sector owned the bridge, could they not allow people to cross it? Allowing a private company to build a bridge would also alleviate taxes.

bhlava said...

I think that i private groups of citizens want to pay to have things like bridges and roads repaid, then by all means let them, but we can not completely replace the money from block grants and categorical grants. Although private investment might be cheaper and faster, there's always a possibility of running out of funding, or a chance that a group may back out before finishing. on the other hand we should definitely not cut out private investment. With the possibility of private investment, we may be able to save the government and the tax payers money by having these private groups pay or rebuild the infrastructure.

aspone said...

I think that private investment should replace block grants and categorical grants. Using private investments to maintain and improve important infrastructures is a good idea mainly because of the debt crisis. Our federal debt is at an all time high ahd the government needs to start cutting back. Having private companies help pay can lessen the financial burden on the government and boost the economy. It may be unrealistic to replace all block and categorical grants but private funding should at least start to play a bigger role.

tFugarino said...

i think block grants should replace private investments because the job market will thrive off of it. this would also put a bigger whole in the national debt the government has. these are just a few reasons i think block grants should not be replaced.

Sfrasher said...

Private investment should replace block grants and categorical grants in order to maintain/improve important infrastructure. States have to pour more of their own transportation dollars into fixing highways that they have no money left over for construction of new highways. Due to the “Great Recession” that we are in as a country, individual states and cities have been financially strapped due to the lack of funds provided to them. By having projects funded by state and federal governments, it will already create our financially strapped local state and national governments with even more debt. By having roads owned/maintained by companies that are private, only the civilians who use the road will be paying for it, and will spare taxpayers (who do not use the road) of the burden of paying for it. Ultimately, having private companies lessen the financial burden inflicted on every taxpayer will boost the economy, and revitalize the government.

ANichols said...

In my personal opinion, I believe that that private investment should replace block grants ands categorical grants for many reasons. First, they should replace these grants becasue of the amount of money that small cities need to pay in order to keep the roads, buildings, and other facilities in tact. Block grants and categorical grants, essentially, do not help out these cities they was that they should be helped out. For example, the city should not have to pay all of their own money. On the other hand, these grants are nice because the money is very wide spread, meaning that they are able to spend the money on more than one thing. However, block grants and categorical grants should be replaced because they have limits on how the money should be spent. Also categorical grants have an even greater limit and a more strick spending limit. That is why these grants should be replaced with private investment.

THaase said...

I believe private investment should play a role in the maintnance and impovement of our infrastucture because it allows for the growth of private sector jobs and it will benefit everyone by having nice roads and bridges. On the other hand i still believe the government must maintain a role in our infrastucture. The government should still "own" the actual infrastucture but those private firms could lease the infrastucture and collect reasonable fees for a specific time period. As the need for better infrastucture increases we as people need to figure out a plan to improve it and help our economy prosper once again.

Jbandoszeski said...

I believe that private investment should not replace block and categorical grants for a few reasons. The first reason is that private investment should not have to pay for this sort of things. Also i believe that grants have become less common and the government should create more jobs with these grants. They could make these jobs by creating government funded construction companies and get most of their money back from small tax increases or from tolls.

APrichard said...

I believe like numerous others that private investment should not replace block/categorical grants. The reason being that states heavily rely on these grants to fund numerous state improvements. With this cut in grants the state would be unable to fund many projects. Others might say that this lack of funding may be fulfilled through private investment, however will the projects be subjected to public use or only to the private investor. While relieving a certain amount of taxes imposed on the United States citizen it may guarantee a lack of roads or bridges for example only available to the use of that particular private investor. I therefore bring up the point of a mediation between these two methods to increase the benefit to the states. Where states fall short for projects from categorical/block grants, private investors should be able to fund the fulfillment of the project. Then in return this private investor may receive the tax cut for the public service done. Finally i do not believe that private investment should come to replace block/categorical grants.

sli said...

I believe that private investment should replace block grants and categorical grants because. First, it can flourish the food market. Second, it reduces the tax inequality. Based on what we discuessed in class on Friday "if a cooperation is a person...",then i think, why can't private investment replace block grants and categorical grants in order to maintain important infrastruture?

Chris DeWinter said...

I believe that private investment should replace block and categorical grants from the government because it gives local government an opportunity to improve infrastructure and will decrease the cost of important projects.

Private investment will help local governments improve infrastructure because when there is no funds from the national government available local government will be able to look to private investor to complete projects.

Private investment will probably all so decrease the cost of projects because companies will compete for the job. The competition between the company's will cause price for the project to decrease because the company with the lowest price will win the project.

Keely Smith said...

In my opinion,yes private investments should replace block and categorical grants for a couple of different reasons. First,we will no longer have to rely on the government. Also, more jobs will be created which will help to improve our economy. Additionally, private investments give a motive to find money which will produce results.

Jonathan Aiuppa said...

Private investment should not replace block/categorical grants. Not every block or category is going to have identical private investment numbers or people willing or wanting to privately invest in what grants could be put towards. Private investment is not taken into account for tax and should not be able to replace a federal grant for funding.