Republicans face a defining question on infrastructure

Aerial picture of crisscrossing highways.
Editor's note:

The full text of this article was published by CNN on Friday, May 14 – you can read it here.

Today’s Republican Party shares less and less with Ronald Reagan, who raised the gas tax to pay for substantial investments in America’s highway and public transit systems. The bipartisan consensus that Reagan and Democrats in Congress achieved is still alive today among the American public, who overwhelmingly support greater infrastructure investment even if it means increasing some taxes. Among those Americans are half of all Republicans. The question is: Do their elected representatives?

President Joe Biden is wise to see if there are enough Republican members of Congress still in the party of Reagan and Eisenhower, not the party of Grover Norquist, the anti-tax zealot who, repudiating Reaganomics, said: “A gas tax is an attack on middle-income America.” If none of those Republicans remain, then Biden should keep going and see if Democrats are able to break the generation-long gridlock in Washington on infrastructure by sticking together.

Republicans and Democrats can find the money to pay for the infrastructure to rebuild America if the political courage exists.

The easy part is coming up with a plan for investing in American infrastructure. Done properly, infrastructure makes our lives better, creates quality jobs and fosters prosperity. The trick is how to pay for it. When you boil it all down, there are only three options: raise revenue, borrow or fake it.

Click here to read the rest of this article on CNN.