Thursday, June 12, 2008

End of earmarking?

Probably not, but at least somebody is suggesting it.

This article addresses the massive construction/rehabilitation that our infrastructure, specifically the highway interstate system, needs nationwide. Leveraging tax credit bonds (which I assume could be bought and sold between private parties) seems like a good idea. Time will tell if anything actually happens and effectively works.

One thing that bothers me about this article is the lack of serious consideration (and just a general ignorance) of the effectiveness and convenience of mass transit rail systems. Europe and Asia use such systems almost exclusively for long-distance travel, the U.S. needs to catch that same fever. Amtrak is slow, inconvenient and still, as baffling as this may seem, nearly cost prohibitive when compared to road travel.

1 comment:

Chief said...

I have a problem with extensively using federal funds for regional projects. I suppose if it can be shown that the overall federal economy is improved by the project, it is a good idea. But why should I have to pay for a bridge in Kansas City? Only because the citizens of Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas can't/won't pony up the funds? I'm not sure if that is my problem.

The federal government does and probably should provide funds for interstate highways, railways and airlines. I'm not sure about local projects. Should federal funds be used for regional mass transit? Should someone in Kansas City pay for improvements on NY subways? I don't know.