I've been sitting here perusing the woefully misnamed "American Jobs Act" on the White House's website, when something occurred to me. Our ivory-tower dwelling Administration is proposing that we create an American Infrastructure Financing Authority -- a publically-financed slush fund similar to Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMAC) -- in order to "catch up" on building and fixing America's public works projects. (For previous incarnations of this effort, see Andrew Jackson's fight against the original Bank of America -- but I digress.)
Here's how the Administration justifies this new Federal leviathan:
SEC. 243. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(a) Findings- Congress finds that--
(1) infrastructure has always been a vital element of the economic strength of the United States and a key indicator of the international leadership of the United States;
(2) the Erie Canal, the Hoover Dam, the railroads, and the interstate highway system are all testaments to American ingenuity and have helped propel and maintain the United States as the world's largest economy;
(12) the capital markets, including pension funds, private equity funds, mutual funds, sovereign wealth funds, and other investors, have a growing interest in infrastructure investment and represent hundreds of billions of dollars of potential investment; and
(13) the establishment of a United States Government-owned, independent, professionally managed institution that could provide credit support to qualified infrastructure projects of regional and national significance, making transparent meritbased investment decisions based on the commercial viability of infrastructure projects, would catalyze the participation of significant private investment capital.
Given the fact that I can't point to a single public infrastructure project that has ever been completed under budget (though Google informs me that cost underruns do actually happen... 30% of the time) in recent memory, I am quite curious:
WHAT INVESTOR IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD INVEST IN ANY PUBLIC WORKS PROJECT?
If you are almost guaranteed to lose money on your investment by nature of the fact that the project you invested in spent more than was invested in it, what purpose could possibly be served by making that investment in the first place?
Of course, when one considers the large influx of Democrats into Wall Street's elite investment firms, the money-laundering between the unions and the Democratic Party becomes a suggestion that actually begins to make sense.
One can only hope that Congress sees right through this Mafia-esque plan long enough to nuke it from orbit.
It's the only way to be sure.