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Posted by on Jan 1, 2009 in Economy, Miscellaneous | 2 comments

The Great Infrastructure Initiative Canard

We’ve all been hearing a lot about in-coming President Obama’s plan to dramatically improve this nation’s infrastructure with a huge new federal spending initiative—one akin to the way our national infrastructure was improved in the 1950s by the interstate highway building program. Sound great? Well, maybe not so great.

Infrastructure improvements in this country historically have been paid for by state and local governments. A great many of these entities, however, have hit a fiscal wall of late, and can’t borrow the money they need to fund such projects. A major new federal infrastructure effort would thus not be over-and-above what has already planned. It would simply replace what would have been done anyway had a nasty recession not come along.

It’s good that what would have been done might get done after all. And that jobs that would have been paid for by local governments might still exist. But big new infrastructure initiatives? No.

Maybe we won’t fall further into a national infrastructure black hole. But neither will that hole be filled in any time soon.