I am grateful to Blumenauer for taking this initiative. We had an excellent audience which asked extraordinarily good questions. One of the participants was John Norquist, President of the Congress for the New Urbanism. He likes to tell people that his organization and the Free Congress Foundation (both of which have Congress in the title) are the only two organizations which favor both mass transit and school choice. He and Blumenauer were guests on the Right Hour, my radio show on the Right Talk Radio Network, Both were optimistic that Congress would face up to the need to deal with infrastructure. One issue which has proved very controversial is the sale or lease of highways and bridges to private investors. Our Commission came out four-squarely against the sale or lease of our infrastructure to foreign governments and foreign investors. Some politicians who have supported these public private partnerships are now in trouble. Americans simply do not want to see private interests, especially foreign interests, controlling our infrastructure. Granted money is tight and it is tempting to raise easy money that way but people who have paid for these roads with tax dollars do not like the idea of leasing or selling them.
Next year is going to be a critical year for roads and rails. This conference offers a preview. Exciting times are ahead of us.