Friday, July 31, 2009
When selling their $787B stimulus package, the Administration made "shovel ready projects" yet another basis for one of Sally's drinking games (take a drink every time you hear it). They also said this money needed to get out the door immediately to repair our failing infrastructure and used the case of the Minneapolis bridge collapse as an example of the looming crisis with the state of our nation's bridge spans. This little story about the wrong bridges getting just about all of these funds while the most needy went unserviced indicates one of the problems with government employees when it comes to spending the taxpayers' money...there are too few of them who have an integrity to doing what is right vs doing whatever gets them the most money now before someone else who is even less inclined to do the right thing snatches that money away from them. And I've watched this occur up close and personal in over 7 years of inside the beltway government service (those of you who recall my railing over the term "budget dust" have experienced how much I admire this trait). I will say that I am pleased that my home state, the great Commonwealth of Virginia, along with South Carolina, eschewed that kind of approach and vectored the money to the most needy bridge repairs. I wonder if Alaska's famous "bridge to nowhere" got funds to repave their unused lane surfaces. This is also why I think it is utterly IMPOSSIBLE for a government run health care system to reduce costs of health care, to save money or to target dollars to the most genuinely required services. Until we change the culture of "budget dust" and "end of fiscal year money grabs" so prevalent throughout virtually all governments, there is no way I will vote for anything new to be run by government.
Posted by Mudge at 7/31/2009