by David Stockman, David Stockman’s Contra Corner:
I am in the throes of finishing a book on the upheaval represented by the Trump candidacy and movement. It is an exploration of how 30 years of Bubble Finance policies at the Fed, feckless interventions abroad and mushrooming Big government and debt at home have brought America to its current ruinous condition.
It also delves into the good and bad of the Trump campaign and platform and outlines a more consistent way forward based on free markets, fiscal rectitude, sound money, constitutional liberty, non-intervention abroad, minimalist government at home and decentralized political rule.
In order to complete the manuscript on a timely basis, I will not be doing daily posts for the next week or two. Instead, I will post excerpts from the book that crystalize its key themes and which also relate to the on-going gong show in the presidential campaigns and in the financial and economic arenas. Another of these is included below.
I am also working with my partners at Agora Financial on a new version of Contra Corner. More information on that will be coming early next month.
Madison County’s Bridges To Nowhere And The Perennial Myth Of Crumbling Infrastructure
There is a good reason why Donald Trump’s campaign has been light on policy details. To wit, it seems that every time he gets specific he manages to serve up a steaming pile of hogwash.
So when he told Fox News that he would double-down on Hillary’s $275 billion infrastructure boondoggle, The Donald was right on cue. And in pulling his new $500 billion infrastructure program straight out from under his comb-over, he also demonstrated he has no idea what he is talking about.
Donald Trump on Tuesday proposed a plan to rebuild U.S. infrastructure that costs “at least double” the amount that Hillary Clinton has floated, in what would amount to a massive new government program……“Well, I would say at least double her numbers, and you’re going to really need more than that. We have bridges that are falling down. I don’t know if you’ve seen the warning charts, but we have many, many bridges that are in danger of falling.”
No, Donald, the bridges of America are not falling down and the nation’s infrastructure—-to the extent that it is any business of Imperial Washington at all—-is not “crumbling”. Actually, Washington’s primary job is maintenance of the Interstate Highway System, and that’s in pretty good shape, including its heavily trafficked bridges.
More importantly, if additional investment is needed in the interstate highway grid, then the users should pay for it with a modest increase in the gasoline tax. Or better still, rescind the earmarks which divert upwards of 67% of the existing $45 billion per year of gas tax revenues to state and local roads, mass transit, bike trails, walking paths, weed removal, transportation museums and countless other diversions. In short order the system would be in tip-top shape.
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