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Monday, July 21, 2014

Obama Wants Private Business to Invest in Public Infrastructure

Posted by Paul Constant on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 10:02 AM

David Ludwig's story at The Atlantic Wire about a new federal initiative makes me feel bad:

The Build America Investment Initiative will establish a committee to look for ways private businesses can more easily invest in American infrastructure projects. A new center at the Department of Transportation will be tasked with the initiative. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew will oversee a committee within the center to help find ways to eliminate the barriers that private companies face when investing in public works projects.

The White House released a fact sheet about this program. And on the one hand, you know, I'm a realist and good job for trying to get something done. Apparently, Denver has constructed a couple light rail lines by partnering with business, and I guess you can't argue with those results.

But what happened to taxing business to pay for this stuff? Are we ever going to get out of this Ronald Reaganesque pit where everyone agrees that taxes are automatically evil and the free market is the solution to everything? Why do businesses get to pick and choose where their "tax" funds go, but I still have to pay for the Department of Defense and the NSA and bullshit programs like the Build America Investment Initiative? Isn't anyone else concerned that an infrastructure constructed at the whims of the corporate class might become an infrastructure that favors big business and that ignores the poorest, most powerless Americans? Doesn't anyone else think this program sounds like a monumentally bad idea?

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