In June, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) introduced a new bill aimed at funding infrastructure projects in America’s poorest communities without raising any taxes. The plan, which funds infrastructure investment by selling off distressed government assets, could provide a pathway forward for a larger infrastructure package that would cost taxpayers nothing.
This bill represents an alternative approach to inefficient infrastructure schemes that raise revenue by increasing taxation, most of which involve raising the harmful gas tax. Instead of a tax hike on Americans paying at the pump, the GAIIN Act manages to stay out of taxpayers’ pockets while actually diminishing government waste and debt.
This legislation, called the Generating American Infrastructure and Income Now (GAIIN) Act, is designed to require the Department of Agriculture to sell off an estimated $50 billion worth of wasteful government assets. Half of the proceeds will be used to reduce the national debt and half will be used to fund infrastructure spending in poor communities. If successful, the plan could serve as a blueprint for further infrastructure funding as federal agencies currently hold a combined estimate of $2 trillion in debt and lease assets across all agencies.
In his press release, Rep. Kelly asserted that there is precedent to such an approach and that the GAIIN Act is modeled off of President Ronald Reagan’s method to raise funds in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986. The GAIIN Act is expected to be heard in committee in the near future and is supported by President Trump.