Infrastructure: America’s Last Hurrah

Published on: 04/05/2021

In this edition of Chart Talk, Tony Ogorek and Jeff Viksjo discuss how infrastructure may be a viable investment opportunity.

Posted on: 4/5/2021

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Tony:

Welcome to this edition of Chart Talk. I’m Tony Ogorek, I’m here with Jeff Viksjo, and today we are going to be talking about what we call America’s last hurrah: infrastructure. And, you know, Jeff, we’re looking at an infrastructure bill by the administration and they’re looking at anywhere from two to two and a half trillion dollars, which has 12 zeros. It’s just an astounding amount of money. America is way behind in terms of investment in this area, has been for years, but I just wonder whether we’re going to be able to put on that amount of debt or whether we’re going to have to be raising taxes to cover a decent portion of this.

Jeff:

Yeah, and so we just passed the 1.9 trillion stimulus bill that put a lot of data on, of course, you know, can we really put another two, two and a half trillion on top of that?  The only reason the stimulus was possible is because rates are so low. And so the interest on all that debt doesn’t crowd out a lot of other spending, but putting another two, two and a half trillion, you know, I’m not sure it’s feasible without raising taxes.

Tony:

I agree. And the administration is looking at maybe coming up with 500 billion tax increases, maybe a trillion. And they’re looking at raising taxes for people over $400,000 of income. They’re looking at scaling back the estate exemption and increasing capital gains taxes for people earning more than a million dollars. So, we’ll see what happens, but let’s take a look at this chart. Where’s the big need, where’s the big spending going to be in infrastructure?

Jeff:

So raising taxes is always difficult, but what’s pushing this bill forward is that the need is very great. And so we looked at the funding gap over the next 10 years, about two and a half trillion and these are things you really can’t, under-invest in.  These are roads, these are airports, our electric grid, schools, water systems. You know, the positive here is if you invest in these things, it is going to increase economic growth going forward. And so all this money coming in, obviously Tony, we’re looking at investment opportunities.

Tony:

That’s right, Jeff. And when this kind of monies, you know, coursing through the system, a lot of companies are going to be looking to profit from that and we’ve got a position in infrastructure and hopefully that is going to prove very profitable for our clients.

On behalf of Jeff and myself, thank you for spending some time with us, and we look forward to seeing you soon again.

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