In Defense of #Infrastructure Spending
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 22, 2014
At the federal level, TEApublican types have decried our national deficit, much – if not most – of which came about as a result of placing the price of a decade of warfare on a proverbial credit card. I refer, of course, to the Persian Gulf War, Gulf War II, Operation Desert Shield/Storm and the invasion of Afghanistan, etc., all of which occurred during the previous administration.
Compounding that problem was that corporate and personal income tax rates upon the wealthiest was cut, while simultaneously, the veritable house of cards was crumbling, having been built upon the miry, sinking sands of Wall Street deregulation & greed gone wild.
Nevertheless, as our nation has struggled and clawed its way back to some semblance of fiscal sanity, there have been voices arising whom assert that the federal government’s “bailout” of banks & other large, corporate enterprise has been a gross mistake, and that such a bailout should have never occurred. And, while there will doubtless be volumes written, and debates held about the good and the bad of the ordeal, what’s been done, has been done, and it’s practically all over, but the crying. So the only thing we can do now, is live & learn, and move on.
And yet, respecting one underlying problem which arose corollary to the matter, is the loss of jobs here at home. Again, it was complicated by ‘globalization,’ which – good, bad, or indifferent – is occurring, and will continue to occur, and increase. It is, after all, a hallmark of free enterprise, which this nation has promulgated and promoted worldwide.
To wit, some in Congress have steadfastly refused to promote, or sign onto any bills that would have created jobs, or even provided the first penny to any so-called “shovel ready” projects, based almost exclusively upon their notion that our federal government cannot continue to spend as it has.
There are two problems with such an assertion: First, unlike any local, city, county or state government, the federal government can print money. Second, we must re-examine our national tax policy, I write specifically in reference to the progressive tax system which has been in place in this nation for many years. Again, to further complicate matters, there has never been a time in our nation’s history in which we reduced revenue while increasing spending… that is, until recently, i.e., the previous administration. And yet, that is precisely what happened.
I am gravely concerned that a ‘Wal-Mart type philosophy’ has taken hold in the minds of select legislators, which philosophy is to lower prices, and increase sales. As it applies to the federal government, it translates as lower tax rates (federal revenue), and therefore decreased spending – along with the corollary privatization of many governmental functions – and economic expansion. And yet, we know that government has, and shall continue to have a role in economic expansion. It is a justifiable role, and not just a regulatory one, either.
Having recently opined about an infrastructure idea presented which could transform the state of Alabama, I would also like you, the reader, to bear in mind that the following commentary also applies to the federal government, as well as to other government entities at the state and local levels, but perhaps more so at the larger levels.
“Y’know… the kewl thing about infrastructure improvement & expansion is that, not only does it provide jobs for the duration of construction & ongoing maintenance, but it increases economic opportunity for entrepreneurs of all stripe.
“What would Alabama look like if there was – as suggested – a high-speed railway system that connected North Alabama with the Gulf Coast region in a one-hour time frame? What economic opportunities could arise more readily?
“And for the naysayers whose solitary retort is “we can’t afford it,” not only can we NOT afford NOT to (for we must look to the future – for no one drives forward by looking in the rear view mirror), but as with ALL governmental contracts & spending projects, materials and manpower ALWAYS come from the Private Sector.
“Where is that proverbial ‘government factory’ in our United States?
“There is none.
“Never has been.
“Never will be.”