Kirk Seeks To Ease Privatization Of Public Assets

CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is introducing legislation that could lead to more privatization of public assets across the United States.

As WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports from City Hall, Kirk says the nation could net $100 billion for new roads, airports and rail lines if Congress removed the restrictions on public-private partnerships.

This could mean privatization of airports and highway facilities.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

“One of the proposals is for the thousand rest areas that are in the United States. They are all owned by the government. There are 54 in the state of Illinois that cost the state of Illinois about $12 million to operate, so they’re net drains on the very strained finances of the state of Illinois,” Kirk said. “This would allow the state of Illinois to go into partnerships.”

Among the possibilities in the Chicago area would be privatizing Midway International Airport, which has been discussed previously. The City Council approved leasing the airport in 2008, but the deal fell apart after the city could not secure financing.

But Kirk’s bill could also lead to the privatization of O’Hare International Airport, which, like most airports, is currently barred from being privatized.

“We are running counter to the international trend,” Kirk said. “When you look at all the major international airports, you’ll see London, Paris, Rome, Beijing, all partnership airports now. You’ll see things like Terminal 4 at (New York’s) JFK, now is a partnership airport.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) last week proposed limits on privatization of public assets, but Kirk and U.S. Rep Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) believe that idea is going nowhere.

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) is also backing Kirk’s measure.

  • tom Sharp

    Somebody show Kirk the blog on the Skyway before he gets carried away!

  • Mr Electricity Man

    Private companies have one purpose, to make a profit The purpose of municipal government is to provide taxpayers with services payed for by taxes.They are not supposed to make a profit at the taxpayers expense but look at whats going on here..Whenever an asset or service is privatized, the taxpayer is socked with increased fees or an additional usage charges that doesn’t benefit the municipality but instead goes to the private company , their profit.And it cost us more money for the same service.
    Selling these assets at bargain prices for some quick up front cash deprives the municipality of the future steady cash flow these assets provided over time and future budgets have to look elsewhere to replace that money, so they look to sell more assets.Its the most shortsighted type of management there is. Look how well its worked in Chicago.Who can afford downtown parking? How has that affected business? The city could have raised the rates themselves and helped themselves out of the budget mess had they not been so greedy.

  • John G. Black

    Kirk wants to promote so called public private partnerships, but what he is really talking about is a givaway of taxpayer funded assets to his friends and cronies. it is, of course, true that the transcontinental railroad was only possible because the government footed most of the bill with enormous land grants. The reason the “big four” got it all accomplished is because they put most of ther money in and stood to lose much of it if the railroad never got completed. However, there has rarely been any government program that did not heavily rely on the private sector and from which the private sector did not profit substantially. For example, did Caterpillar tractor advance exponentially at the time of the building of the Interstatre Highway system during the Eisenhower administration. This highway system was paid for by the federal goverment to the tune of 90% with state and private resources doing most of the work. We need more of these visionary projects. We need not give our natural and social rsources away to the Chinese or Indonesians or other foreign entities just because of the illusion that it gets the responsibility off the government’s hands.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live