President Trump: The Federal Government Should Spend Zero Dollars on Infrastructure
May We Please FINALLY Figure This Out?
I supported and generally support President Donald Trump - predicated largely on what he campaigned and on his doing that on which he campaigned.
And I am mostly pleased that the latter has hued to the former so historically closely.
Contrary to prevailing sentiment - we Trump supporters do not like every single thing Trump proposed or proposes. Nor do we refrain from vocalizing said disdain when it arises.
To wit: I think each and every gun law - is stupid (not to mention unconstitutional). Blaming the actions of people on inanimate objects - is stupid. Passing laws in an attempt to preemptively affect the behavior of lawbreakers - is stupid.
Trump has discussed several particularly stupid gun proposals - which is actually in violation of Campaign Trump’s campaigning - and I have had zero problem publicly writing and saying that they are stupid.
And speaking of stupid - behold Trump’s infrastructure plan. Which is, sadly, his delivering upon a campaign promise.
(But, again, I took the Trump good - because it far outweighed the Trump bad. Knowing I would vocally deal with the bad when it reared its ugly head.)
I think the building of roads and bridges should be - as much as is possible - a private sector endeavor. Governments contracting out to private companies. But that horse long ago left the barn - it will be very difficult to re-corral.
The vast majority of roads and bridges - are government-run. And there are fifty state-level variations of a government Department of Transportation - that deal with roads and bridges.
Which begs the questions: Why then do we have a superfluous, fifty-first-federal Department of Transportation? And all the superfluous nonsense that attends? The states already do all of this - and should do so without the federal superfluousness.
To wit: Interstate 95 travels north-south from Maine through Florida. Why should residents of Kentucky, Kansas or California be taxed to pay for its upkeep? The states through which it runs - should handle it.
Congress should set some basic interstate highway tenets - and otherwise stay the heck out of it.
Thankfully, Trump’s plan adheres to many of these tenets.
We want zero federal coin - this is closer to that total than feared. And we like the dearth of details - because we like federalism, and want the states to make as many decisions as possible.
Here’s what we especially loathe:
Because: “The United States federal excise tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon (cpg) and 24.4 cents per gallon (cpg) for diesel fuel.”
The state-by-state taxes - are very much worse.
Unspoken when a tax increase is proposed - is the assertion that every penny already taxed is being spent wisely and well. This is government - we know this is nowhere near the case.
And if we have wall-to-wall “crumbling infrastructure” (we actually do not), what the heck have our governments been doing with all the money - expressly dedicated to upkeep - they have for decades been taking from us?
We need much less new government - and much more old government accountability. We’ll never get the latter - we should at least not contribute to the former.
And what’s way worse than even more money taxed and spent by and on government infrastructure?
Government taxing and spending even more of our coin - on something the private sector has already handled magnificently.
The Internet is the horse - that we wisely kept in the private sector barn. And the results - have been historic extraordinary. Never in the history of humanity has anything grown so huge, so rapidly, so well.
In the twenty year history of the Web, private connectivity companies have invested $1.5 trillion in broadband infrastructure. And we have gone from ridiculously slow 14K dial-up sloth - to interstellar 1GB of wired and wireless speed, and beyond.
Are there some ultra-high-speed Internet holes in the gi-normous American map? Sure - because very rural areas of our gi-normous nation are difficult to reach. But the private sector - is hurtling towards solutions there too.
And in fact - already solving said problem.
Satellite Internet: 15Mbps, No Matter Where You Live in the US: “Satellite vendors say they can fill America's broadband gap.”
That article - is from 2013. And for the technology-challenged - 15Mbps is more than fast enough for what just about everyone does on the Internet. And satellite providers have spent the last half decade - getting even faster and better.
And we’re about to get to Fifth Generation (5G) wireless. Which will dramatically increase speeds, invoke a now-barely-imaginable Internet-of-Things-revolution - and set us up for countless new technological ways to get ever-better Internet to everyone.
In fact (and of course), the ongoing chief impediment to more connectivity - is government. At all levels.
Governments Mandate Monopolies - Then Complain About a Lack of Competition: “Local governments and their public utilities charge ISPs far more (for building rights) than these things actually cost. For example, rights of way and pole attachments fees can double the cost of network construction….
"These (government) incumbents – the real monopolists – also have the final say on whether an ISP can build a network. They determine what hoops an ISP must jump through to get approval.
“This reduces the number of potential competitors who can profitably deploy service.… The lack of competition makes it easier for local governments and utilities to charge more for rights of way and pole attachments.
“It’s a vicious circle…(A) system of forced kickbacks….(also) includ(ing) ISPs…building out service where it isn’t demanded, donating equipment, and delivering free broadband to government buildings.”
So why on Earth - or anywhere else - would we want the government further involved? We should be storming the barricades - demanding government retractions and rollbacks.
Oh - and we have already spent the last two decades again and again trying government broadband.
Let us now provide a bit of a refresher.
Then-President Barack Obama ignored with his 2009 “Stimulus” - a preceding decade-plus of government broadband history.
Government - ignores basic economics.
And that’s when government isn’t “overbuilding”: Setting up government broadband - as a direct competitor to existing private providers.
Which is even more awful economics.
And does nothing to connect the unconnected - since government is instead connecting the connected.
And thereby misses entirely the alleged point of all of this government broadband.
Oh - and of course, government controlling the world’s greatest First-Amendment-free-speech thing in history - ain’t at all problematic.
And when the inevitable happens - and government broadband fails (and fails, and fails, and…) - the inevitable happens.
So here’s a thought:
This time around, let’s instead skip entirely all the inevitable government fail.
If you would please, President Trump.
And state and municipal governments all around the country.
This first appeared in Red State.