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December 23, 2005

Alaskan Bridges To Nowhere Back

As you probably know, the earmark for the bridges was redacted, but then Congress just issued Alaska a $454 M blank check. The same amount that had been earmarked for unnecessary bridges.

The state budget -- now with that extra money -- simply adds bridge construction back into the mix.

I try to be an optimist, so--

1) At least this shows that the state, if paying from its own funds (and those funds now are the state's), still would want the bridges. In other words, they didn't only want the bridges if they could make New Jersey voters pay.

2) I assume the federal goverment will be off the hook for the inevitable cost overruns.

3) I have a soft spot for transportation projects, and I do believe this is one area where the government should be spending money, as a general matter. Bridges and roads are something the private sector can't do (please, libertarians, spare me the turnpike/private road arguments), and they do add to economic development.

On the downside-- Congress just won't give up its pork. They'll "cancel" projects for a brief time just until they think the heat's off, and then, when they think no one's looking, the pork goes right back in.


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posted by Ace at 12:03 PM

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