Will Wilkinson joins Amity Shlaes, Kevin Fassett , and my own bad self in arguing that government infrastructure projects won’t revive the economy and are Petri dishes for graft and corruption.
While he did call for some tax cuts, Obama pushed even harder for massive new public infrastructure spending, which is very complicated, and not at all quick. Maybe it’s a good idea in the longer run, but it’s just too slow to work as stimulus.
And it’s worse than “won’t work.” New roads, bridges, and electric grids requires the government to sign thousands of contracts and cut thousands of checks. Now think about the missing billions in Iraq. Big-ticket government contracting is just the kind of process where political corruption thrives.
The National Taxpayers Union agrees neither:Summarized well, their position is: “Instead of shovel-ready spending, let’s focus on ax-ready waste!”
Among the mayors’ ” ‘Ready to Go’ Jobs and Infrastructure Projects” are well over $1 billion in projects involving sidewalks; $1 million for annual sewer rehabilitation in Casper, WY; $6.1 million for corporate hangars, parking lots, and a business apron at the Fayetteville, AR airport; 28 projects with the term “stadium” in them; and 117 projects mentioning landscaping and/or beautification efforts. The taxpayers should be most teed off at the 20 golf courses included in the list.
Those hangars for corporate jets are listed as “green jobs,” since they will enable Al Gore and RFKJR to fly into Arkansas and lecture Wal-Mart about sustainability.