Tuesday, March 01, 2016

A Microcosm of America's Fiscal Problems

This piece perfectly illustrates the dilemma.  Roads in town are in horrible shape.  Many need complete overhaul.  Some might get by on more regular maintenance.  But we are doing neither.  Why?  Because local government can't afford to repair the roads.  The point is there is obvious public investment opportunity but it is being thwarted for financial reasons.  This is eight years after the housing bubble burst but, to emphasize the point, note that the Dems only had control of both Houses of Congress for the first two years.  After that, nada. 

In a world where the Feds shared revenue with the States for capital investment and then the States shared revenue with Local Government for that same idea, maybe the financial constraint could be addressed.  Absent that, the roads in my town will deteriorate over the next ten years.  That local government needs to generate revenues to fund this stuff, when the State is in a horrible situation budget-wise, is implausible if not totally impossible.  The barriers to doing what makes sense are great.  We need leadership to cut through that. 

Consumer confidence is measured as if it comes out of nowhere.  But consumers want to know that someone has their backs. 

We are erring over and over again on this lack of local public investment.  When might we figure this out? 

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