However, his piece brought up the problem of over-regulation and how it stops public works projects..
From Phillip K. Howard:
Modernizing infrastructure requires money and permits. Congress needs to create a long-term funding plan and radically reduce the red tape that drives up costs and ensnarls [sic] projects in their infancy. Instead, Congress uses short-term fixes to get past the looming insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund. Congressional efforts to cut red tape are similarly weak,Red tape? Yep, govern over-regulation even strangles the government.
And there is this:
Funding won’t build much, however, without red-tape reform. Congress funded an $800 billion stimulus plan in 2009, but five years later only $30 billion had been spent on transportation infrastructure because no government agency had authority to approve projects. As President Obama put it, “There’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.”
Red tape can consume nearly a decade on major projects. For example, raising the roadway of the Bayonne Bridge near the Port of Newark, a project with virtually no environmental impact (it uses existing foundations and right of way), required 47 permits from 19 agencies, and a 5,000-page environmental assessment. The approval process took five years. In San Diego, permitting for a desalination plant began in 2003 and was completed, after 14 legal challenges, in 2012. It will start producing fresh water this year — 12 years later.
Congress did not deliberately create this bureaucratic jungle. The jungle just grew, like kudzu. Environmental review statements are supposed to be 150 to 300 pages, according to federal regulations, and focus on important trade-offs. Nor was the proliferation of permits by design. As government got bigger, it naturally organized itself into silos, each with its own rules and territorial instincts. Many requirements are senseless in context — like requiring a survey of historic buildings within a two-mile radius of the Bayonne Bridge, even though the project touched no buildings.You see? In tying the hands of capitalists over the years with unnecessary regulatory burdens, socialists tied the government's hands.
If only there were a party dedicated to limited government...