While the devil is in the details, and I have less than zero confidence in this president, he proposed a structural change in the way we ‘purchase’ infrastructure projects, that would effectively privatize the process, rather than continue the current (corrupt) process of relying upon earmarks.
From The NYT:
Mr. Obama … called for what the White House is describing as an “infrastructure bank” that would focus on paying for national and regional transportation projects by pooling private money with public investment. He said the bank would eliminate a patchwork system in which transportation projects are financed through Congressional earmarks rather than based on merit.
From The White House
The President proposes to fund a permanent infrastructure bank. This bank would leverage private and state and local capital to invest in projects that are most critical to our economic progress. This marks an important departure from the federal government’s traditional way of spending on infrastructure through earmarks and formula-based grants that are allocated more by geography and politics than demonstrated value. Instead, the Bank will base its investment decisions on clear analytical measures of performance, competing projects against each other to determine which will produce the greatest return for American taxpayers.
Impressive. Now, let’s see it work.