…of why Progressives and private pocketbooks—or public pocketbooks—are a bad mix. This is former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, in the San Francisco Chronicle, on why public works projects are—deliberately—under costed when they’re foisted off onto the public, us folks who must pay for these things.
News that the Transbay Terminal is something like $300 million over budget should not come as a shock to anyone.
We always knew the initial estimate was way under the real cost. Just like we never had a real cost for the Central Subway or the Bay Bridge or any other massive construction project. So get off it.
In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment. If people knew the real cost from the start, nothing would ever be approved.
The idea is to get going. Start digging a hole and make it so big, there’s no alternative to coming up with the money to fill it in.
It just doesn’t get much more cynical than that.
h/t The Wall Street Journal