For an emergency bill why is most of the “spending” set for years in the future? If it’s in the future, then why does it need to be in this “emergency” bill?

See what happened in Kentucky (and is still happening) and see what’s happened before in many different areas of the country, a good choice for infrastructure spending would be on upgrading the electric grid. Get the lines underground. I think it was the summer of 2003 when a squirrel on an electric line disprupted power to nearly the entire eastern seaboard.

Getting the lines underground will protect them from weather, ice storms, tornados, etc. As a side benefit, getting the electric (and telephone and cable) lines underground will remove an eyesore and will save trees. How many times have you seen a tree that’s been utterly butchered to remove branches that may endanger lines?

We also need an upgraded electric grid to cover all the plug-in electric vehicles that we’re all supposed to buy. The current grid can barely handle the capacity it needs to now, let alone when all these electric cars are sitting in our driveways. Rolling blackouts, anyone?

Any new or rebuilt road contracts should include trenching for utilities where poles are.

And for all these “shovel ready” projects: we have to guarantee that they aren’t “Big Digs” and that they are “St. Anthony Falls Bridge Rebuilds”. On a road near where I live, all last summer was spent completely tearing up the road in the eastbound lanes and rebuilding it. In the fall, before construction was suspended for the winter, the east bound lanes were ready for travel, and they closed off the middle so eastbound is on brand new 18 inch thick concrete and westbound is still on 8-11 year old rebuilt concrete with massive asphalt patches.

You read that right. A road that was completely rebuilt 8-11 years ago is again being rebuilt. Only a few years after the road was first rebuilt, large (lane wide and 4-20 feet long) asphalt patches were required. A large portion of the road was cut out and replaced by asphalt and now the entire fairly new road is being totally removed and replaced. This is a main east/west artery. The road work is causing nightmares for commuters, slowing down traffic, extending each worker’s commute, increasing pollution…

If they’d put fly ash, a byproduct of coal power production, into the concrete mix, the road could last for 5 decades or more. That would decrease construction delays, decrease pollution from vehicles, save people time, and put a byproduct of coal power production to good use – another decrease in pollution. And think of the savings in taxpayer money if the road doesn’t have to be completely rebuilt every few years.

Generating public sector (government) jobs will not grow wealth or the economy. Only private sector jobs can do that. Public sector jobs don’t create anything. There is no manufacturing, no sales. Sure they consume a lot of stuff.  But what do they show for it?

Government can encourage or discourage the private sector. At the moment they are discouraging the private sector. Government wants to increase entitlements and increase government jobs. But if everyone is on the goverment teat with entitlements or employment, where does the money come from? Will government pay it’s employees with one hand and take from them with the other to pay the entitlements?

Without private sector business growing wealth and jobs, the money supply will decrease. Then, because government needs more and more money to pay for all they want to pay for, government will infuse more cash into the system, devaluing the dollar. It could, indeed, get to the point where we get in line to pay $300 for a left shoe because that’s all the government run shoe factory produced this month…

Wealth is not a zero sum affair. There isn’t only so much wealth around and no more. Business creates wealth. But they can’t create wealth if government taxes eat up too much. If there’s a de facto penalty for creating more profit, creating wealth. It will end up that all the money flows from and to the government and that will be a zero sum affair.

With government in charge it does mean that some will have to have a smaller piece of the pie in order for someone else to have a larger piece, or a piece at all.

With business creating wealth, it’s easy to just make more pie.

This administration has just gotten its beloved SCHIP expansion passed. The administration is going to pay for this by increasing the federal cigarette tax. Many adults in the families that SCHIP is supposed to help the most are smokers. So, government is paying for the expansion of SCHIP with taxes on a product used by people in families SCHIP is supposed to help. Then too, an increase in the cigarette tax will encourage many people to quit so as to avoid the added expense. Thereby reducing the revenue stream just as expenses for SCHIP will be inevitably increasing. Many will drop private insurance in order to take advantage of SCHIP. Why pay for something when you can get it for free?

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