Opinion: Democrats Must Reject Infrastructure Privatization

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hailed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan as a generational milestone. Superficially, his glowing endorsement makes sense. Most of the nation’s major infrastructure has not been improved since the 1960s. Consequently, a 2021 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) assigned a “C-” to our infrastructure — indicating “significant deterioration” along roads, bridges, airports, waterways, and rail lines. These issues are paramount. Yet, resurrecting a privatization scheme, which Democrats initially rejected when Trump proposed, will only exacerbate existing inequalities. Under the proposal, the “asset recycling” provision consists of private investors purchasing public infrastructure. The government then allocates the proceeds towards other vital projects. In theory, it sounds innovative and efficient. In practice, it has flopped at home and abroad.