According to the Congressional Budget Office, “Bailout to Nowhere” money for the proposed new infrastructure stimulus won’t be spent within the next two years–far too late to do anything about an ailing economy (granting for the moment that such spending is stimulative rather than destructive, which it isn’t). According to the Washington Post:
Less than half the money dedicated to highways, school construction and other infrastructure projects in a massive economic stimulus package unveiled by House Democrats is likely to be spent within the next two years, according to congressional budget analysts, meaning most of the spending would come too late to lift the nation out of recession.
A report by the Congressional Budget Office found that only about $136 billion of the $355 billion that House leaders want to allocate to infrastructure and other so-called discretionary programs would be spent by Oct. 1, 2010. The rest would come in future years, long after the CBO and other economists predict the recession will have ended.
We’ve called for numerous options to grow infrastructure. Erecting new power-line capacity, broadband options, toll-roads and other infrastructure is best accomplished through relaxation of general regulatory barriers, and concerted removal of the artificial walls between the great infrastructure industries (water, power, telecom, sewer, rail, electricity, etc) so that the private sector can carry out the projects rather than the goverment complex of consultants, contractors and politicians.