The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


The trained hamsters in the main stream media warn of utter chaos within the infant Trump administration and of "racists" and "bigots" among his nominees for cabinet positions. They get the vapors over the (admittedly ridiculous and unnecessary) tweets still emanating from the president-elect.* Yet, there are early signs that Donald Trump just might do few good things.

Everyone agrees that infrastructure improvement—roads, bridges, airports, sea ports, etc.—are necessary. But in the past, these projects have been government boondoggles, draining billions of taxpayer dollars, getting mired in regulatory delays, being attacked in the courts, and taking far, far too long to complete (e.g., the Boston "Big Dig" took 25 years start to finish).

It looks like the Trump administration might take a different tack by establishing a set of incentives to encourage private investment in some infrastructure projects, reducing the regulatory burden that slows construction to a crawl, and even suggesting legislation that might make it harder for, say, the usual environmental groups, to use lawfare to block development or make it prohibitively expensive.

The Wall Street Journal writes:
The Trump plan will offer some discipline because it is designed to move private capital off the sidelines, and investors, unlike politicians, expect a decent return. In an October white paper, Trump economist Peter Navarro and investor Wilbur Ross detail what they call “a huge infrastructure gap,” which they attribute to a lack of “innovative financing options.” They think they can unleash about $1 trillion in the capital markets with a tax credit equal to 82% of private equity investment, much as states and cities encourage real-estate development.
The key in all of this is lifting at least some of the burden from beleaguered taxpayers to private investors who would be driven to control costs, accelerate schedules, and ultimately achieve revenue for the new airport or bridge project. Let's say an airport in the New York metro areas needs an significant upgrade. The current approach is to have taxpayers throughout the USA contribute to the project, even though the majority will never use the airport. It might be better to have private investors do the upgrade (under new regulatory rules that would make the project less expensive and development time shorter) and then recoup their investment through fees that would be collected over many years.

If Trump can overcome "privatization" objections from Democrats, who never saw a taxpayer funded boondoggle they didn't like, he just might reduce regulation on such projects to a manageable minimum, establish laws the protect such projects from many types of blocking lawsuits (after all, the government itself can't be sued in many situations, can they?), and change the bidding process so that the best work is done and the lowest price, rather than the best political contributor is rewarded at any price.

The result just might be the beginning improved infrastructure that is privately funded, privately maintained, and simply better. After all, what have we got to lose?


* The media hamsters are like small children who need to "act up" in an effort to get the adults in the room to pay attention. Because their credibility is gone, they get more and more extreme in their empty indictments of anything and anyone who do not dovetail with their left-leaning ideology.