Taxpayers, the economy, and public works projects

There was an interesting AP article recently in the Albuquerque Journal that explained how politicians and taxpayers are leery of signing off on and paying for major infrastructure projects. The economy and a lack of money are cited as the major reasons, but some wonder if America has lost its “mojo” if you will, in terms of building big things.

I don’t know about that. My view is that such projects should be built on a “user-pays” basis and that labor for such projects should be paid at market wages, not inflated “Davis-Bacon” rates. So, the railroad tunnel that Chris Christie has abandoned — which would never pay for itself — should probably not be built.

The local “bike-bridge to nowhere” is another project that would have never gotten off the ground if local bike riders had to pay for it.

Another project that shouldn’t be built is the silly $26 million project that will turn Lead and Coal, roads that were meant to be major throughways, into bike-friendly parkways with slower traffic. Paying good money to decrease mobility is just silly.

There are plenty of big projects begging be built around Albuquerque like major interchanges at Paseo and I-25 and Paseo and Coors, but our infrastructure funding system is broken. Alas, that is the real issue. Until government is competent in funding projects that make sense, I think Americans will rightly question government’s competence to prioritize and build these projects.