Stimulus mismanagement

28 01 2009

The US is in desparate need of massive infrastructure spending. The American Society of Civil Engineers rates our infrastructure at the moment as being at D level. No, not some special classification system. D as in the sort of grade your parents yelled at you about. They estimated that it would take 2.2 trillion dollars and 5 years to bring it up to a B.

Congress, as I’m sure you know, has been working on an 800 billion dollar stimulus spending bill. Originally it was to be targeted infrastructure spending, involving massive investments on specific, major projects. That isn’t happening. Instead it’s getting divided up into an enormous number of smaller scale spending projects, none of which can have a major impact.

The stimulus bill, although it covers barely more than a third of the needed infrastructure investment, could go a very long way to repairing the US infrastructure before it collapses out from under us. 800 billion is not something that comes along every day, so it is unlikely that the major projects this could fund will be possible again for a long time. But many of them are not even building new systems. The infrastructure needs 2.2 trillion in repairs, much less improvements.

We could easily dump 4 of these bills into the economy and not run out of important and critical projects, but instead we’re dumping the money from one while getting the effect of 1/10th of a bill. We have all the cost and none of the gain, and this could provide enormous amounts of gain. The democrats have tacked all their pet projects onto the “Bill to Nowhere” and sapped it of any real strength.

And people ask me why I don’t like either party… *sigh*




One response

28 01 2009

I find the failure of infrastructure spending especially ironic in light of Nancy Pelosi’s attempt to divert stimulus money to birth control.

It’s a mess out Washington way.

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