Friday Opinion

Read David Harsanyi, Rich Lowry, Erick Erickson, David Limbaugh, Michael Barone and more.

Feb. 9, 2018

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Opinion in Brief

David Harsanyi: “It’s … worth remembering that when liberals talk about infrastructure, they don’t necessarily mean roads or bridges or airports or water-processing plants. They mean expensive social engineering projects and Keynesian job-creation schemes. … According to a 2010 Associated Press analysis, the first 10 months of Obama’s economic stimulus plan showed virtually no effect on local unemployment rates, which rose and fell regardless of money spent on infrastructure projects. It barely even helped construction jobs. What it did do was fund cronyistic ventures and debt-padding waste. Around $90 billion of Obama’s infrastructure-heavy ‘stimulus’ plan went to green energy companies (many of which are now in bankruptcy) rather than repairing bridges. Another $1.3 billion went to subsidize Amtrak rather than repairing the roads you actually drive on. Another $8 billion went to various other rail projects (with a priority on high-speed rail) rather than highways or byways or your local street. Now, though one expects Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill to focus more on traditional projects, the case for the new spending is predicated on the same chilling and misleading rhetoric we’ve been hearing for years. Although still nebulous, the White House’s plan apparently features some attempt to reduce the regulatory burden that the private sector must wade through before gaining approval for building permits. This is a positive step considering the vast majority of infrastructure is still built by the private sector. This should be a goal of the administration with or without the massive infrastructure bill.”

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