Anyone naive enough to think America is about to receive a big gift of newfangled "fixed installations" needed in order to function should look long and hard at what is really being proposed. The "underlying structure" a country and the economy rely upon includes things such as roads, bridges, dams, water and sewer systems, railways and subways, airports, and harbors. None of these things are cheap to construct and when it comes to infrastructure the words, good, fast, and cheap should never be clustered together. While many people see government spending on infrastructure as a job creator and a silver bullet for our ailing economy I would like to raise a word of caution, things are not that simple. The cynical part of me thinks the American people should get ready to get bent over and taken advantage of.
|Spending Trillions Likely To Result In An Epic Fail|
The debate over how much we need to spend and on what, could go on for ever but this is not the answer. Please note, this is not "free money" but that message is likely to be ignored in the same way a great deal of the population fails to appreciate that most of the $1.9 trillion has yet to be spent. An example is how screwed up this flow of money can be is apparent in Fort Wayne, Ind. the city announced only days ago it had hired Homebase, a nationally recognized consulting firm to evaluate “the state of homelessness” in the city and
layout a plan to address it. The project should take nine months, the city said. (Funding came
through the CARES Act passed in late March of 2020.)
Many people seem to see money flowing from Washington, such as this infrastructure bill, as not costing us anything because the bill is shrouded with the message the project will more than pay for itself over time by creating greater growth. The problem is that when it comes to such spending, politicians often prefer to use such funds on what they view as legacy projects that will shape the future of their area or shiny pet projects that will enrich their cronies. Many of these tend to be rather wasteful and controversial and it is not uncommon to see them plagued by cost overruns.
In truth, when it comes to infrastructure, the Democrats and Republicans
are not on the same page. While Republicans may be willing to spend
federal money on things like highways,
bridges, and airports, many Democrats are interested in using much of
this money to build what they call "green infrastructure " and promoting
clean energy or things such as electric vehicles. In short, Democrats wish to use this money in a giant experiment to create what they hope will be a more sustainable world. Instead, we should prepare to see more "bridges to nowhere"
and wasted spending exists than most taxpayers can imagine.