Penny Wise-Pound Foolish is Bad Government Policy
Let’s Not, Shall We?
We want less government - in all things. This is not a moment-to-moment, transient concept. This is an overarching, timeless desire.
We are not short-sighted in this pursuit. This sometimes means spending a little more government money up front - to save a whole lot of government money later.
Spending a little government coin now on a border wall and better border enforcement - will save us down the road a TON of government money spent on medical care, housing, schools, welfare checks and a whole host of other government-funded things.
Spent not just on the 20 million or so illegal aliens. But also on the American citizens whose jobs and wages are squelched by the illegally imported competitors. And all Americans - whose taxes have to be inexorably, dramatically increased to pick up the titanic illegal alien-induced government tab.
See: California. Which is striving mightily to Make America Venezuela Again (#MAVA).
So we less government types will happily spend a little more now - to save a lot later. On everything. To wit:
Don’t Kowtow to Special Interests on Infrastructure: “When governments spend billions of taxpayer dollars to build and refurbish state infrastructure, lobbyists for special interests will invariably try to game the system and seek favors from planners and policymakers. Too often such favors involve limiting the freedom and flexibility for local communities, engineers, and construction contractors to make the right decisions to satisfy their neighborhood’s infrastructure needs or picking ‘winners’ and 'losers’ in the marketplace by favoring one material over another.”
We’ll object to this last point. When the government is doing the choosing - it doesn’t pick winners and losers. It picks losers at the expense of winners. To wit:
“(L)ocal officials most familiar with and responsible for local conditions and water infrastructure should allow local engineers and contractors to select the best piping materials from a truly competitive market. Not all piping materials are best-suited to every environment. So, leave it to local engineers and taxpayers—not state planners and lobbyists—to decide which pipe materials are right for the project.”
We currently face some of this crony-mandate nonsense at the federal level. In no small part because the cronyism-seeking cronies failed at the state level - all over the country,
Behold the PVC pipe lobby. They have been in state capitols throughout the nation trying to get those governments to mandate their pipe - and only their pipe - be used in water projects. Thankfully, state after state correctly demurred.
So now the PVC lobby is trying to get the Feds to mandate nationally what the states rightly would not.
Government cronyism aside - this is really bad fiscal policy.
About the only thing PVC pipe has going for it - is that it’s cheaper than, say, iron pipe. And in this instance especially - you get for what you pay.
If the Feds acquiesce to this particular bit of cronyism, we will end up paying a LOT of dollars later - to save a few pennies now.
PVC is less durable and more likely to break than other kinds of pipes. Which means after we spend all the money to do all the work digging trenches and laying pipe - for miles and miles and miles - we’ll have to a whole lot sooner go do all of it all over again. And again. And….
You want an environmental reason to oppose this PVC crony mandate? Sure thing. PVC pipes are manufactured from chemicals - that puts soil and water at-risk. When they degrade or break - they leak these things.
And seriously, do we really want the federal government nationalizing every single water project in the entire country - which is in no small way what this PVC crony mandate would do?
The Feds dictating what pipe comes into my home - and every other abode and building in the nation? How anti-federalism can you get?
The truism - is true:
If something is a good idea - no government mandate or money is necessary.
The PVC lobby doesn’t want to rely on their product’s merits - because their product’s merits are decidedly lacking.
So they turn instead to government mandates.
The Feds should follow the states’ lead - and turn them away.
This first appeared in Red State.