Infrastructure and Transportation

The nation’s highways, airports, water supply systems, wastewater treatment plants, and other facilities play a vital role in the economy. That physical infrastructure, which is provided by all levels of government, supports the private commercial activities and the daily lives of individuals throughout the United States. CBO regularly examines proposals for changes in federal policy regarding such infrastructure.

  • Report June 11, 2014

    How can lawmakers address the imbalance between revenues and spending in the Highway Trust Fund? How does the unique budgetary classification of surface transportation programs limit the effectiveness of standard spending controls?

  • Report December 18, 2013

    In 2012, the federal government spent $531 billion on investment—for physical capital; research and development; and education and training—which represented 15 percent of federal spending and 3 percent of GDP.

  • Report March 5, 2013

    In 2011, the federal government provided $607 billion in grants to state and local governments, accounting for 17 percent of federal outlays and a quarter of spending by states and localities. Nearly half of that amount was for Medicaid.

  • Report September 20, 2012

    CBO's report assesses how the credits affect the relative cost of owning an electric vehicle, and how cost-effectively the credits reduce gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Report July 12, 2012

    CBO analyzes an illustrative federal infrastructure bank for transportation—one that is representative of those in many recent proposals.

  • Report January 9, 2012

    CBO finds that private financing will increase the availability of funds for highway construction only in cases in which states or localities restrict their spending by imposing legal constraints or budgetary limits on themselves.

  • Report March 23, 2011

    This study examines broad alternatives for federal funding of highways, focusing on fuel taxes and on taxes that could be assessed on the basis of the number of miles that vehicles travel.