Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
(New York, NY -- Bob Hennelly, WNYC) As we've reported, the idea of using an infrastructure bank to fund big projects is gaining steam. The most recent evidence was in the President's budget, released last month. But questions about where the tens of billions of seed money would come from remain unanswered.
Now Andy Stern, a Senior Fellow at Georgetown Public Policy Institute and the former president of the Service Employees International Union, has a possible solution. He thinks it’s wise to induce US multi-nationals to repatriate some of their foreign profits with a tax holiday. Because none of that money is getting taxed now, he said the tax rate could even be lowered to a minimum rate of 5.25 percent on overseas profits, well below the current 35 percent. He wants that new revenue to be put to work here in the United States re-building the nation's aging and dysfunctional infrastructure.
"It could be more than that — but the minimum should be at least 5.25 percent," Stern said in a telephone interview. "That would generate at least $40 to 50 billion dollars for opening equity in an infrastructure bank. That in turn could be additionally leveraged into $500 billion."