Them doin nuffin ain't necessarily the worst they could do - economist Tom Sowell EDITORIAL
By Peter Samuel
Thomas Sowell the famous Hoover Institution economist in a column today says that gridlock in Washington DC gets a bad rap. He asks rhetorically: "Have you noticed that what modest economic improvements we have seen occurred during the much-lamented 'gridlock' in Washington? Nor is this unusual. If you check back through history, doing nothing has a far better track record than that of politicians intervening in the economy."
We roads people might as well look on the bright side and celebrate the 'gridlock' that prevented the US Congress from passing a longterm highway reauthorization bill.... for what is it, nearly three years now. We're up to about the ninth continuing resolution.
Many have lamented that there has been one temporary "stopgap" after another.
Maybe that's the new norm we need to adjust to, and consider that an end to the gridlock might well produce something worse than we have now - limited funds, and a growing but healthy skepticism about "help" out of Washington DC. This can only encourage self-help.
Most urgently needed is not more handouts of federal money for roads projects as urged by the lobbyists pushing 'reauthorization,' but an end to Washington DC's restrictions on states and local communities taking on the road work themselves. Like the restrictions on tolling interstates and other highways that have been recipients of past 'federal aid.'
We need a Federal-Aid Forgiveness bill that forgives states for having accepted federal aid for highways in the past and proclaims an end to the restrictions the history of that aid entails.
Worthwhile road projects will self-finance with tolls...