Prioritize, Guys

President Donald Trump’s national infrastructure plan centers on glorified seed money directed to the localities looking to improve/build out their infrastructure.  The idea is that the locals know their needs best, those needs should be funded primarily locally or from within the nation’s private economic sector, and the building out will aggregate into a vastly improved national infrastructure—real bottom up development, with a little help from the Feds.

To that end, Trump is going to propose $200 billion in Federal spending be committed to a total $1 trillion infrastructure development collection of projects (OK, considerable help).

Right now the dynamic is: come, ask for a whole lot, bang on the table, have your economic studies showing the tens of thousands of jobs that will be created, have your regional study saying this will transform America, bang on the table some more, hire some lobbyists and you get money.  We’d rather have people come and say, “Listen, we’re chipping in this much, give us this little increment and we can make this thing happen.”

Naturally, the locals are getting their knickers twisted.  The ones with the biggest projects

say that local cost-sharing and private financing efforts would fall well short of making up for sharply reduced federal funding.

Nonsense.  You don’t get to freeload off Uncle Sugar, anymore.  Project leads in Chicago or Dallas don’t have a claim on the (tax) money of the good citizens of New York or California, and under the administration plan, they won’t be allowed to exercise their false claim to OPM.  New York and California will be able to keep their money for their own local projects.

This is an example of the deer in the headlights response of folks so used to the Government teat that they can’t conceive of better alternatives [emphasis added]:

Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have said they expect the federal government to cover half the cost of the Gateway project, which also includes bridges and track improvements.

“There’s no people or economic activity in that region that could possibly cover the cost of that?” said the administration official, when asked about a recent appeal by Mr Cuomo for federal aid for the project. “I think that’s a tough sell, would be my response.”

The suggestion that New York and New Jersey could pay their own way on the projectshocked some of the tunnel’s advocates.

Prioritize, guys.  On what are you spending your citizens’ money that you think is more important than your Gateway?  Say that out loud, so your citizens—your constituents, your bosses—can hear you.

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