Monday, December 15, 2008

National Review article advises Obama to do like Rick Perry

The topic of Texas transportation and the stimulus package have been commented upon in National Review in an article called Wrong Road on Transportation, by Sam Staley and Adrian Moore. The general drift of the first part of the article is generally OK, about thinking of new and better ways to do transportation and using the stimulus funds in the best way to create needed jobs.

Then, they lurch right off the tracks when they come to specific recommendations.

Fortunately, we have the tools and the incentive to embrace the innovation necessary to reestablish the U.S. as a world leader in infrastructure investment. Many of President-elect Obama’s transportation advisers are poised to embrace many of these innovations, if they are appointed to key posts in the administration. Central to the reform efforts will be an expanded
role for
technology and the private sector in providing new, high-quality infrastructure.

Hundreds of billions of dollars are available worldwide for infrastructure investments in the U.S., an unintended but happy side-effect of the “flight to quality” brought about by the collapse of world financial markets. Experience in China, Australia, India, France, Spain, and elsewhere has demonstrated the importance of letting the private sector take the lead in proposing, developing, and implementing these solutions through long-term agreements with governments called public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Transportation policy may be one area where an Obama administration will leave a positive legacy for the nation and its cities. While Republican governors such as Rick Perry in Texas and Mitch Daniels in Indiana have staked out ambitious and politically courageous positions supporting PPPs . . .
I say that fortunately, I hope, the Obama administration will not take the advice of National Review, and will not go down the road of Gov. 39%, attempting to use eminent domain to take land throughout the country for the benefit of foreign corporations such as Cintra.

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