(Mark Niquette – Bloomberg Businessweek)
Among his many campaign promises, Donald Trump pledged to fix America’s crumbling roads and bridges with $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. Almost seven months into office, though, and two months removed from his vaunted “infrastructure week,” the president has revealed few details for how to pay for it. As his advisers look for ideas, a group of Australian politicians and executives has been lobbying for the administration to adopt a controversial policy of selling or leasing airports, toll roads, and other public facilities to raise money for infrastructure projects.
The method, known as asset recycling, was used in Australia as a way to finance new construction without incurring new debt. In 2014 the Australian government budgeted A$5 billion ($3.9 billion) over five years to provide incentives to state governments to sell or lease public assets and invest the proceeds in infrastructure projects. The plan generated more than A$15 billion from the sale of assets, including a portion of the country’s power grid, after debt was paid off. The revenue helped fund the Sydney Metro and other projects. Click here to read more.