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Um, We’ve Tried This

February 27, 2011

Hey, how about we decide to just incur more debt on maintaining infrastructure in order to trump up jobs that we don’t need to do?  Michelle Malkin, Hot Air, and plenty others have the story. Here’s the source, Union Leader Richard Trumka:

We need to create jobs.  The best way to do that is through infrastructure development.”  Simply maintaining the existing infrastructure in this country will cost $2.2 trillion over five years, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.  That doesn’t include Obama’s objective of high-speed rails and green energy projects.Trumka didn’t say specifically how much he would raise the gas tax, but mentioned he’s shown the President a $256 billion plan to improve infrastructure.  If every billion spent on infrastructure creates 35,000 jobs, as he claims, this package would create close to 9 million jobs over the next five years. 

I’m pretty sure this is a variant of stimulus spending, though this time we’re taxing productivity now as opposed to later.  Bruce McQuain at Hot Air notes correctly that this type of tax hits poor people the most, since gas is a large consumer of disposable income — both in the form of the gas itself and also the food and other consumable goods price increases.  And this will be taken from the pockets of all the taxpayers to pay for some more infrastructure jobs, mostly driven by union labor.

I thought that the stimulus funds we already allocated were designed to increase the infrastructure spend in order to create jobs.  Why aren’t we just spending what we already have?  Oh, I see… it’s all about getting more for the people who already have.

I really can’t add a lot to what’s already been said on this, but it burns me that the solution to problems always seems to be the solution that makes the most for you.  If it sticks it to energy companies, or if it burdens everyone while you claim it burdens the rich, then that’s even better, apparently.

Here’s a suggestion: if you want to create jobs, put the money that people already make in their own pockets, so they decide to spend it in ways to make more money.  Until then, you’re just blowing smoke at some already irritated eyes.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2011 2:38 am

    “Infrastructure” work is never done; the roads around here are repaved frequently, this being something that is apparently the most vital of infrastructure needs.

    But if you launch a new program as Trumka describes, and complete these giant tasks, then those jobs would disappear. They are not permanent, and create no profits. Ah, but by then they will be “permanent” in the true sense of being supported by the bureaucracy, and instead of generating profits create expanding budgets — to the bureaucratic hegemony, more precious yet.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

    • February 28, 2011 1:21 pm

      Right on. To some extent, the stimulus spending is focused on specific projects, like making a new bridge. I think the assumption is that the gas tax would ensure that the same bridge could be repainted continuously.

      I admire the strategy. I hate the idea, but I admire the strategy.

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