Issue: Infrastructure Funding
Includes topics related to who pays, and how to pay, for needed new infrastructure, and the repair or replacement and maintenance or removal of existing infrastructure. This can include a discussion of government only funding, private sector funding, and public-private partnership funding. It can also include suggestions as to the relative ratio of "user" and "non-user" funding.
- Repatriation of Overseas Fund
- Jobs for Youth Through Infrastructure Renewal
- Financial Transaction Tax (FTT)
The amount of funds "parked" by major corporations overseas is very large and continues to grow. These funds are not available to support the economy within the United States, and are not available for increasing employment within the United States. A process needs to be established whereby the companies keeping these funds overseas can be encouraged to bring them back, and a program needs to be put in place so that this parking of funds overseas is less financially rewarding. One immediate approach which has been suggested is to establish a 90 day "holiday," during which time the tax on return funds would be reduced. This could be to tax the funds at approximately 12%; it also might include the option of allowing for a slightly lower tax rate for any portion of the returned funds that are placed for a period of time in an infrastructure bank.
A potential major solution is available to generate employment opportunities for young people. It is to develop jobs across the country via a major investment by government and the private sector in infrastructure renewal and development. This will result in the creation and expansion of small local businesses that will hire people at all levels of education and experience, and which will either provide direct services to the major infrastructure projects, or indirect services to the employees of those projects.
There have been a number of proposals for the establishment of a financial transaction tax (FTT). The funds generated by such a tax would be substantial, and could be designated to a specific use or uses. The tax rates proposed have been very modest, but would generate a substantial amount of money. As an example, proposals include a rate of 0.25 percent on each stock purchase or sale, and 0.02 percent on the sale or purchase of a future, option, or credit default swap. It is the position of the Forum that such a FTT such be instituted, and in particular, that the monies raised be dedicated to the funding of infrastructure replacement, improvement, maintenance and new development across the United States.