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We must find a way to pay for infrastructure: US Concrete CEO

Brian Sozzi
·Editor-at-Large
·3 min read
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President Biden's looming infrastructure plan makes good sense on paper, but it has to be paid for somehow, said U.S. Concrete CEO Ronnie Pruitt. 

"I think you got to figure out a way to pay for it. We have talked about gas taxes. We have talked about tolls and registrations. We have talked about government taxes as far as infrastructure goes. At the end of the day we have to figure out how to pay for it. I do think there is a model there that users pay more for the roads, and we are a big user of that," Pruitt told Yahoo Finance Live

Pruitt said he has talked with members of the Transportation Committee about these very things. 

Biden is expected to unveil his $2 trillion, eight-year infrastructure scheme dubbed the "American Jobs Plan" on Wednesday. Of particular importance to industrial companies such as U.S. Concrete, the AJP is seen investing $621 billion into transportation infrastructure including the repair of roads, bridges, transit and rail. 

US President Joe Biden boards Air Force One in the rain at Andrews Air Force Base on March 31, 2021 in Maryland. - US President Joe Biden is traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to deliver remarks on his economic vision for the future and the Biden-Harris administration's plan to
US President Joe Biden boards Air Force One in the rain at Andrews Air Force Base on March 31, 2021 in Maryland. - US President Joe Biden is traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to deliver remarks on his economic vision for the future and the Biden-Harris administration's plan to "Build Back Better" for the American people. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden is believed to still be pushing for an increase in the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% as a way to help pay for the investment plan. 

While critics of the plan will debate the need for higher corporate taxes (among other hot-button aspects), the fact remains that U.S. infrastructure needs a boost or else.

According to research from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. economy stands to lose $10.3 trillion in GDP by 2039 if an infrastructure bill isn’t passed. A total of $9 trillion in disposable income among households will be lost over the next 20 years, the research shows.

"I think it's an investment. And I am not afraid to pay for investments that have a return," said Pruitt.

Cisco Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins (whose company will also benefit from the plan's investment in broadband infrastructure) shares the sentiment that infrastructure investment is long overdue.

"It's tough to say [how much Cisco would benefit]. It depends what is included in there. Certainly there will be a lot of traditional roads and infrastructure, which the country needs desperately and also would create jobs and opportunities for people," Robbins told Yahoo Finance Live. "But then, the broadband build out would certainly lead customers of Cisco to built out more infrastructure and probably accelerate 5G deployments, which would probably be good for us."

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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