SERIES: Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative | Number 7 of 157 « Previous | Next »

Investing for Success: Examining a Federal Capital Budget and a National Infrastructure Bank

Today’s fiscally constrained environment demands a new approach to infrastructure policy, allowing us to upgrade our existing infrastructure, expand choices in moving people and goods (and ideas), ease the burden on household budgets, and help us attain energy independence. Spending must produce real gains in productivity, inclusion, and environmental sustainability—the foundation of short- and long-term prosperity. In this time of limited resources, improving the federal investment process should be prioritized over finding ways to merely increase the amount infrastructure spending.

This brief examines the current federal investment process and the extent to which a federal capital budget or a national infrastructure bank (NIB) would improve it. It finds that creating a federal capital budget would provide little improvement for the federal decisionmaking process on infrastructure financing. However, while the more modest NIB is no silver bullet, if appropriately designed and with sufficient political autonomy, it could improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of future federal infrastructure projects of national significance.

SERIES: Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative | Number 7