• December 10, 2023

A Bad Infrastructure Bargain – WSJ

Senate Republicans say they are nearing an infrastructure deal with the Biden administration. I’m sorry to say that this looks like bad politics and politics – bipartisanism for its own sake and not for the common good.

Republicans don’t want to look like obstructionists, and spending more money on roads, bridges, and ports is politically popular. Perhaps a deal that only funds public works and includes some political victories like approving reforms may be worth it. But there is no evidence that Democrats want such a compromise.

One question Republicans should consider is how much more infrastructure spending is needed in the first place. Congress has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on public transportation, homes, airports and broadband over the past year.

The Democrats allocated $ 30 billion for public transportation in March, on top of the $ 40 billion from last year’s Covid bills, which was on top of the $ 13 billion annual Congress spending. That’s a total of $ 83 billion in a year – roughly six times what Congress normally spends.

There is no doubt that public works have deteriorated in many places, but whose fault is it? State and local governments are primarily responsible for funding and maintaining public works. However, Democrats who control big cities and blue states prioritize union wages, benefits, and inefficient work rules that increase construction and operating costs.

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