For Your Consideration: A New Approach to Infrastructure

By / For Your Consideration / Wednesday, 07 December 2016 05:00

Contributing Writer

There is a lot of discussion on the cost of a new infrastructure program, but most of the estimates are based on the expectation of approaching the program the way it has developed in the past, but there is no reason that a new program needs to follow the same prescription that has been employed in previous infrastructure programs. The problem of trying to evaluate the cost of the program that the President elect is proposing is that he is adding items that don’t belong in an infrastructure program, but during the formation of the program these items may be placed in the category they belong in. Any good program should be guided by the basic principles in the Constitution, which means that, for the most part, the cost for the program should go down to a level that is capable of covering the cost of the program, which may mean that some of the funds may be derived from private enterprises, government entities that are benefiting from the program, and the remainder should come from the taxes that have been applied by the Federal, state, county, and city governments, which should be placed in a closed fund (a locked box) and is not treated as being fungible. Contracts should be constructed in a manner that eliminates many of the past problems contracts had, which inevitable lead to cost and time over-runs. Every effort should be made to put most of the work in the private sector.
The construction of the contract is a critical tool for ensuring that the project meets the expectation of the finished product. Accountability for all aspects of the contract must contain fines, potential loss of position by government employees at all levels that are responsible for a given phases of the program.
The job needs to be bid out to the private sector, and awarded to a company that can fulfill the requirements of the contract at the lowest price, with the stipulation that only United States citizens are used, with no regard to the fact of unionization of workers, and that if subcontractors are used, that it will be the responsibility of the company that is receiving the contract to ensure that the rules that apply to the company also applies to the subcontractor, failure to comply with the contract will eliminate the company from any future infrastructure programs.
Any failure to comply with the with the contract from either the public or private sector, should be met with an action that will lead to a termination in the public (government) sector; this may seem harsh, but we need to start holding individuals responsible  for their actions.
The government’s actions in the past have been designed to reward a company, union, or to achieve some social objective, it’s time to concentrate on the objective of the program, which is to repair, or construct an infrastructure that will improve the Nation’s ability to function more efficiently, at a lower cost.
Government does not appear to be concerned with the cost over-runs that we continually have with the projects that it initiates, because it can extract more taxes from the taxpayer, and at the same time increase the manpower in the agencies involved with the infrastructure programs, using the failures as a result of not having enough personnel to do the job properly, it’s time we put an end to the Peter Principle.
The point is that there are an assortment of approaches that can be applied to reduce the cost of the infrastructure programs, and to do it in ways that it does not require raising taxes, but this is going to require our elected officials to put some thought into what they are doing, and given the fact that most of our representatives are better at selling themselves with their rhetoric, than they are at performing to the level of the rhetoric.
The electorate will have to start holding their representatives’ feet to the fire, if we are ever to extract the Nation from the deplorable state it’s in.


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