A combination of public and institutional pension funds and individual retirement accounts, along with Social Security Trust Funds could be used to finance public works projects, according to a report released Tuesday by The Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. "Not the Macquarie Model: Using U.S. Sovereign Wealth to Renew America's Civil Infrastructure," was commissioned by the New York-based National Committee for America 2050, a coalition of regional planners, scholars, and policy-makers that promotes methods to meet the nation's infrastructure, economic development and environmental challenges.

The new approach is the only way to meet the United States' infrastructure needs, said Richard Little, director of the Keston Institute and author of the paper, in a statement. "The disparity between the needs and spending on infrastructure projects in this country is daunting," Little said. "We need to invest 4 to 6 percent of our nation's GDP, some $500 to $700 billion, in public infrastructure systems. There isn't a funding source to date that can generate funds at that level — not the dedicated Highway Trust Fund, nor the U.S. Budget in general."

View the report as a PDF.

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