tv Washington Journal Jacob Fischler Discusses Infrastructure Reform Efforts CSPAN September 9, 2017 8:32am-9:19am EDT
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thseteilth wld imovfuinfoaior. thid he meinto diikanth oerbi. th a wri authe senate's proposed restrictions on these they can charge and the general aviation industry is opposed to the house proposal to take air-traffic control out of the faa. there is a lot going on there. talk a little bit about this. that article is maybe a month or two old. neither chamber has passed their bill. one of them likes one bill and hates the other. vice versa. we are going to see an extension is what it comes down to. host: which is what we are under now. guest: they did a robust extension a year ago some policy, but basically just keeping things running.
the big issue is keeping their air traffic control spinoff, which has been pushed by republican from pennsylvania, bill shuster. it is a priority of the airlines. they want air-traffic control run by a private nonprofit like it is done in a knot of -- a lot of countries. there is opposition to that. the bill passed committee in june and has not received a floor vote yet. general aviation, which is everything that is not a military plane or commercial ,irline, business jets agriculture, they don't like it. they are afraid the airlines will run this private nonprofit and hurt them. in terms of privatization of air-traffic control, there have been advertisements run on this issue by the famous captain
sully of the hudson river landing. what is going on with it in congress? guest: i don't think it is there. bill shuster is pushing this really hard. theyrms of the house gop, have some support there with only one republican voting against, but every democrat was against. there might be three democratic cosponsors, but other than that, i don't there is a lot of support on that side of the out. appropriators don't like it because it cuts off their ability to control the funding for air-traffic control. in the senate, it is unpopular. the senate has a more rural t ilt. these small, general aviation folks are very against it. host: washington, d.c., our independent line.
good morning. caller: a couple years ago we had recovery programs right after the economic crisis where we had a whole bunch of money boostto the economy to funding and investment and infrastructure. you see around the country all these billboards and science saying this road that signs -- signs saying this road was built with recovery money. i still see infrastructure spending from local coffers matching federal match grant or the like. whenever i travel around the country, even locally i see there is a bike lane, and a considerable amount of that is coming from federal coffers. i am thinking, is this really good use of federal taxpayer
dollars? -- thely should be source should be locally. i don't see how a bike lane helps the development for the betterment of our country. if you could comment on match france, i would appreciate it. guest: that is a good point. you make in argument a lot of people make in terms of what should the federal role be. people make the case that the interstate system facilitates interstate commerce. the states are in charge of operating, but they get a lot of federal money. that case is easy to make. in terms of things like bike lanes, transit. the new york city subway system is a huge, tons of writers a year, people from all over the country.
it really only helps new york city. there is an argument to be made that perhaps the federal role if the benefits are mainly accrued at the local level. as long as there are people in congress representing these areas, they will try to get as much funding as they can for their districts. made that point to be quality of life and things like out, andy help people if the money can come from the federal government, that allows the state and locals to do funding for other things. host: bill from michigan. caller: hi. curious about all the trillions the last administration spent on infrastructure. i am in detroit.
i tell you what, there has nothing been done to our infrastructure. i know we have a lot of signs out there that told us the government was going to fix our roads. all the reports i have been reading, nothing was done. they knew they wouldn't do nothing. the democratic party stole all that money. why is it not being audited? it was a lot of money. guest: thanks for the question. a lot of people that i talked to , the american recovery and reinvestment act, the criteria for spending that, and there was a lot of focus on shovel ready projects, it was not done in the smartest way to revitalize the economy. the criteria for what could get money, it just incentivize, it kind of filled -- basically it only did projects that were
already going to be built anyway. it did not have this transformational power that some people think it could have. mentioned there are signs all over saying this was paid for by arra funds. you do see some of that. i think there is a consensus that if folks could go back a years ago and redo that, there would be smarter ways to invest that money. host: this delay in reauthorizing faa, if there is a delay, does it create any safety issues in terms of air traffic? guest: it should not. there is the air traffic organization, that is exempt now.-- the term escapes me basically they keep running even if there is a lapse in
authorization. it will affect the governments ability to collect taxes, the 7.5% tax every time you buy an airline ticket that goes to the government. there are a few different places it goes. that is physically it. -- basically it. that would lapse.' -- that would lapse. the government would not be able to collect a tax. host: ok. issue that you wrote about, self driving cars. the house took the first that in regulating -- step in regulating it. the bill is the first on the
federal level to address self-driving vehicles. it would prohibit states and localities from regulating the design, construction, or performance of highly automated vehicles in order to maintain nationwide standards. tell us about this path in congress. what happened, and what are the prospects in the senate? guest: don't be scared. basically, self-driving car's, they are a technology that has been under development for a while. we are getting to the point where we can see in the next five to 10 years what we see highly -- what we call highly automated vehicles that drive themselves in certain conditions. that raises all sorts of questions. the automotive industry is highly regulated. how do you regulate a different kind of automobile? this tries to layout -- when you
get your drivers license from wherever, the automobile itself, regulated by the federal government. there are federal motor vehicle safety standards they have to comply with. set that lines to for autonomous vehicles. the question is what is the state will in regulating operations of the vehicle, insurance, all these questions. this says states and local governments cannot regulate what the car looks like, how it drives, and a couple of other things. they kind of stayed within the current structure, but some of
the people at the state level think they went a little too far on this. host: you anticipated my reaction, the reaction of state legislators to this. guest: i think they are not there arenst, but issues that it gets a little too much into the car is operated. in terms of setting speed limits, traffic laws, that is always been state and local jurisdiction. they say you cannot regulate how the car is designed. that gets into the software that actually drives the car, which affects how it moves on city and state streets. there is a bit of a push back. they are not whipping against the bill. there should be a senate companion in the coming weeks and months. it will be interesting to see
that. it will not be identical. line from is on the new york, are independent line. caller: hi. one of the things i always listen for his the model people use about federal government spending. the federal government is the creator of the money and does not operate like a household or even one of the 50 states. it can actually spend before taxes. aboutk the discussion where will we find the money is actually doing a disservice to the public because the federal government can spend money into things, andr useful transportation infrastructure is the classic public good that the government should be creating for the benefit of society. there is as much money as is
needed in order to do that. i would really like discussions in washington to start dealing with the reality of how the federal government creates money and how it operates, and it is different from states and households. maybe a comment on that. guest: you are absolutely right. peopleue is a lot of would say that is not the way it should be done. now,is the way we operate and we just raised the debt ceiling this week. a lot of people, especially conservatives, and the republican party obviously controls both houses now, would say that is not a responsible way to spend. the debt we are racking up at
some point will have to be paid. i'm not an expert on fiscal policy. it is a bit over my head. there should certainly be a discussion about when is it appropriate to add to the deficit to deliver public goods like transportation infrastructure. host: kevin calling in from pennsylvania on our republican line. caller: hi. the last color, that is the whole -- caller, that is the whole problem. it is not free money. the government does not just create money that doesn't cost us anything. you are better off to privatize everything. i don't know one case where the government is more efficient than the private sector running any business other than military. i don't know where they do it better than the private sector? that is my only comment. i would say turn as much over to the private sector as possible and have his little government
running of the funds as possible. thank you. guest: thank you. what ishink that in terms of practical to privatize, there are just some assets that the private sector does not want to touch. you're not going to toll a road in montana or wyoming that gets 100 cars a day, that is not profitable for anyone. the previous caller raises the point that private companies have overhead for ceos and employees. if it is not a profitable project, they are going to say, it doesn't mean that people in rural areas don't need to get where they need to go. i think that is where the coreent that is governmental function comes in that people step in and take care of it. back to the issue of the wroteauthorization, you about the impact on subsidies for smaller airports as a part
of this. you set a subsidy program that pays for airlines to fly into otherwise unprofitable small airports could end up losing mandatory spending component airr the house bill to the traffic control, the house bill we talked about earlier, the essential air services program subsidized commercial flights to small and rural airports funded in part by fees charged by flights that pass over the united states that don't take off or land in the country in fiscal 2017, mandatory spending from such overflight fees provided $113 million for the essential air services program. talk to us about that. has there been a status change on that since you wrote the story? guest: good question. so basically to explain the issue, right now the faa does air-traffic control and airports programs including the subsidy program, called the essential air service where they pay
airlines to fly into small laces that they would otherwise not fly into. if trip -- it air-traffic control was taken out of the faa, sorry, the essential air services, funds flights from to payto usa, they have a fee to do that. that goes to the faa. if they were a private nonprofit that was doing the air traffic organization, there is a question about whether they would be able to collect those fees at all and if they could, there no longer linked to the essential air service with the faa. they would not necessarily funnel the money in. rural,ises an issue with gop house members whose districts depend on this program to an extent. i asked about it this week. wereshuster and others saying there would be a vote on
the house bill. heavy figure this out? -- have you figured this out? they don't have an answer yet which is an indication they are still working things during getting a final bill ready. host: agnes is calling in from fairview, oklahoma on the independent line. you're on with jacob/ . caller: thank you for taking my call. concerned why their taxes are so high it is because of privatization. government job -- the government's job is to provide services we need to improve our lives. the private sector's job is to make a profit. when you start separating that in your mind maybe you will stop supporting privatization. thank you. host: your reaction? again, we have heard both sides of the issue.
rightow, the hope, she is that sometimes privatization deals are really not good for the public art and are -- the public partner. when chicago leased out there ifking meters for 75 years, used as an example, of a deal that was not good for the public entity. and they lostnue control of their own streets where they cannot do construction or divert traffic in certain ways or they have to pay the private company that is running the parking meters. say, thati would upls -- bad deals can end costing the taxpayer more than just doing the service on the public side. host: anna is on the independent
line from philadelphia. hi there. caller: good morning. i wanted to know if you would upment on rand paul bringing afghanistan and other foreign countries where we put a lot of money and infrastructure and it has been bombed. countries have free college education and excellent transportation and i wanted to know, why the pentagon, whether congress israeli freezing this, putting foreign interest -- why congress is freezing this, putting foreign interests above our own? paul: i think rand proposed hurricane aid if it did not have an offset in the foreign aid budget. a bit out of my wheelhouse in ands of why the pentagon foreign aid is funded the way it
is versus our priorities here. is making rand paul the argument and i think others are as well. president trump ran on an america first slogan, before we go trying to fix things overseas, whether militarily or otherwise, we have a lot of things that need axing here. host: in your coverage of transportation, we talked a lot about infrastructure on the show in a different -- and the different kinds of transportation, rail and other things. what do you think is the biggest pressing infrastructure issue for congress to address? regarding transportation? guest: great question. they have to do the faa. it has to be reauthorized. in terms of what has the biggest need? i hate to do this, i should refer you, what i use mostly is the american society of civil engineers report and they break
things down into 16 different categories of infrastructure and give a grade to everything. rail is the best, they gave it a b. the difference between roads and didges, are in the d's -- minus, they are always underfunded. the metro has a basket of problems. it is hard for me to single anything out right now but it is a good question to think about. host: learning to dread the single tracking. that seems to be ubiquitous. ellen is on the democratic line. caller: i don't understand this man. i know he is a republican. the america first ship. t? are you kidding me? host: we will go to mike.
caller: i am from missouri. host: i apologize, mike. ok, i love c-span and an opportunity to get my opinion not there. i would like to ask the question battling of are where we get the money for much needed infrastructure, at the comradee, red trump -- trump is wanting to waste money on building a wall between us and mexico and i am sick and tired of hearing, that is why the american people voted for him. he actually lost by 3 million votes. if you take all those people into consideration, if there will be a wall built, somehow or other, we need to bring this up to a public vote and let's get
public opinion on it. money.sting american we can't even give our people health insurance and we are going to waste money on building a wall. that is asinine. please stop it. off the subject, i would like to stop the kneeling at football games. it is disrespectful to all the people who died in our wars, black and white. host: let's keep this commerce asian on infrastructure. talking about priorities. certainly, you could make the argument that not only is the wall, there are monetary resources and political capital. if president trump wants especially democrats to support a big infrastructure package, working with them -- they are not going to fund a wall.
there is a lot of opposition to that. something that if he is trying to get people on his side to work with him, it is counterproductive there. earlier aboutd how trump seems to be shifting and working more with democrats. do you see that continuing on to this discussion? will democrats be more likely to add things to the package? guest: right, this is just my opinion, but it seems that the , for a while we saw president trump sliding in public opinion polls and i think that actually was an incentive for democrats to work against them. trillione proposes $1 in public infrastructure packages or other things the democrats might like, it is politically advantageous for them now and in the future to
oppose for the sake of opposition. we will see if that continues. they cut a deal with him this week on the debt limit and harvey relief. if he kind of continues to work with them on that and kind of way,y, negotiating that they could work together. host: jerry is on the independent line from atlanta. good morning. caller: yes, good morning. i am really confused about some of this stuff. coming out of world war ii, dwight eisenhower built the interstate system with tax money. the billionaire tax. if you made over a million dollars it was a progressive tax but it was 90% for that million and up here at fine. there is enough money that john kennedy went to the moon. then ronald reagan came and said we can trickle up poverty.
it is not trickle down. refuses to let them go with it. corporate tax rates. , on severaloration hundred thousand dollars i pay thousands of dolrs in taxes. on my personal income, on $50,000, i paid $1000 in taxes. more than $1 million a year pay a next her 1%. you make more than $5 million per year pay 2%. you make more than $50 million per year pay more. this i want to get response to this funding. guest: it is an issue. roads are funded through a gas tax that has not been raised since 1993. percentage, it is $.19 on the gallon.
that has left buying power, it has lost a lot of purchasing power over the last 24 years. way, if have to find a they want to do something, build infrastructure, they have to find a way to pay for it. there are other ideas about repatriation and a tax overhaul bill. that would be overseas corporations that don't pay our corporate tax rate. they would make it lower and they would say, have some way to bring that money back. that could be about $200 billion. want to see the echo to infrastructure and that could be a solution. host: todd is on the line from manchester, new hampshire. caller: how are you? host: i am good. you are on. caller: i'm retired and my point there was a lot of talk
about running the government like a business. the one thing we can see from the current administration is the government is not a business and you shouldn't run it like that. as an air traffic controller, my primary concern is not saving money. as a federal employee i have a responsibility not to be wasteful but my primary race -- my primary concern is the safety of the american public. in business does not function that way, it is designed to make money for a corporation or person. you cannot run a government that way. it, that is all you have done. you have converted something that provides a service to the american people to something that makes money for someone else. they will cut corners that they are going to cut to do the minimal they can, that is not the air traffic world that i worked in for over 25 years. i am proud to say that.
i would hate to see it go that way. thank you. curious, -- host: i think we lost them. guest: the idea is not that it a privaterily corporation, it would be a nonprofit corporation which is supposed to take out the profit motive. i would be interested to hear if that had an effect on the caller's views. host: kim is on the line from philadelphia, the independent line. high, kim. doing? how are you all you have to do is look at donald. privatize everything from the government -- first of all, you're going to privatize it, they will take the money, called bankruptcy, leave everyone hanging, and the same thing they did in philadelphia with the public schools. you call a charter school but
they are corporate schools. they take the money six months in and run the shutdown and then the kids are stuck. the businessman, in the middle of the year, oh i am going bankrupt and i am gone. thank you and have a great day. guest: another good point. -- point of their graphic air traffic control and privatization, it is more accountability in the government. there is supposed to be. , voters andup taxpayers have a voice in the proposed system under the air traffic control spinoff, there would be some kind of structure in place where you could complain to the faa about certain things and the faa would have oversight over the corporation. i think, it makes people uncomfortable to think they won't have that kind of direct
accountability to the organization. host: jacob, he is the transportation reporter for cq rollcall. thank you for joining us. guest: thank you for having me. host: we will take one more call. then his calling in from michigan. on the democratic line. this guy that called in from montana that was complaining about the democrats stealing the money -- these people cannot make those comments without giving some proof or evidence of what they are saying is going on. host: do you want to respond? know, my comment to that caller was, there is a lot of agreement out there that that money could have been better spent in the first place.
they're talking about the american recovery reinvestment act money, i am not sure there is a lot, i have not -- i do not know a lot of people who are talking about embezzlement or anything like that. host: jacob, we can find you on website cq also the rollcall.com. is the us on the line representative of the 10th district of florida to talk about the latest in hurricane irma preparations there. thank you for joining us. guest: good morning and thank you for having me on. what is happening in your district? know florida well is no stranger to powerful storms. as we all heard over the last few days this one is quite different. it is extremely powerful and bigger than florida is wide.