Presidential hopeful pledges US$275bn for infrastructure

The frontrunner for the US Democratic presidential nomination has announced a five-year, US$275bn (£183bn) infrastructure investment plan.

An infrastructure bank would also be set up, with the aim of leveraging a further US$225bn of investment.

Hillary Clinton’s Infrastructure plan: Building tomorrow’s economy today mentions how projects such as the Hoover Dam and the interstate highway system paved the way to US prosperity.

As a share of the economy, federal infrastructure investment is roughly half of what it was 35 years ago, says Clinton’s plan. “Estimates of the size of our “infrastructure gap” register in the trillions of dollars,” it says.

Clinton would increase federal infrastructure funding by US$275bn over a five-year period, fully paying for these investments through business tax reform. Of these funds, she would allocate US$250bn to direct public investment. She would allocate the other US$25bn to a national infrastructure bank.

The idea is that the bank would leverage its US$25bn in funds to support up to an additional US$225bn in direct loans, loan guarantees, and other forms of credit enhancement.

The bank would also administer part of a renewed and expanded bonds programme, and would look for opportunities to work with partners in the private sector.

.According to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, every US$1bn in infrastructure investment creates 13,000 jobs.  Moreover, the vast majority of the jobs created by infrastructure investment pay above the national median.