Ever since President Joe Biden unveiled his $2.25 trillion infrastructure framework, Washington and the media have been consumed with the prospects of a big infrastructure bill reaching the Oval Office. Optimism in politics is important, but the public shouldn’t hold its breath that the Biden plan will become law anytime soon. After all, we’ve been down this road many times before: Lawmakers broadly seem to agree on doing something on infrastructure, only to hit a roadblock when ironing out those pesky details.
Broadly speaking, Republicans and Democrats agree that the federal government, in conjunction with the states and private stakeholders, needs to do more to revamp our nation’s ailing infrastructure assets. In addition to raising important public safety concerns, outdated infrastructure hampers the ability of businesses to remain competitive in a globalized world. Meanwhile, workers and the self-employed lose the equivalent of tens of billions of dollars in time and productivity, whether through traffic congestion or