So It Should Be with General Infrastructure

The subheadline outlines part of the problem:

Companies often need to show progress to get government cash but struggle without it

In the body of the Wall Street Journal article at the link is this:

Some of the companies are in Catch-22 situations. Washington won’t issue them loans until they raise outside money and move ahead with projects.

It’s true enough that big, established companies are better able to game the situation. It’s also true that high interest rates—especially after an extended period of no- to low rates—and inflation have hurt, but these only emphasize my point in this post.

It isn’t just “clean” energy: the problem is both broader and more narrowly defined.

What needs to happen regarding Federal funds transfers needs to happen all across the infrastructure terrain, whether the transfers are to individual businesses or to States more generally. Contracts must be let and particular projects must have a minimum of six months of concrete, publicly measurable progress before any taxpayer money can be transferred to the individual business executing the project.

Regarding States in particular, any taxpayer money must be sent directly to the business carrying out the State-identified infrastructure project (and only after the business has satisfied the above criterion), and the State must have already transferred State taxpayer funds to the particular business. Finally, before any Federal taxpayer funds can flow, the business must have a minimum of six months of concrete, publicly measurable progress with the State’s taxpayer money before any Federal taxpayer money can flow to the business.

Sent directly to the business: it’s important, too, that Federal funds entirely bypass the State and go directly to the business in question. Even in honest circumstances, the State’s middlemen siphon off entirely too much of the Federal taxpayer’s money.

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