Like Iâ€™ve been saying all along, exciting mass transit infrastructure projects have proven to be largely incompatible with the notion of â€?stimulus.â€?
Most of the stimulus spending is going toward bailing out state and local governments, spending which Iâ€™ve long suggested be renamed â€?human infrastructureâ€? to make it sound sexier and obscure the fact that Obamaâ€™s whole â€?infrastructure stimulusâ€? idea has turned out to be largely a flop. Liberals have spent the last forty years making it excruciatingly slow to bulldoze anything big in the Blue States. They made their beds and now they are lying in them.
Now that progressives have gotten a bitter taste of the delays inherent in environmental regulation, it's time for the Obama administration to call for a major review of how those regulations can be made less onerous and time-consuming. Don't junk environmentalism, but make it more efficient. Mend it, don't end it!
This review should extend to how can we get the hand of government off the throats of our export industries. We desperately need ways to stimulate our exports to pay for our enormous imports from China and oil producers. We should look at ways to make our exporters more globally competitive by reducing upon them the burdens imposed by environmental, affirmative action, and disability regulations. You can keep forcing domestic industries to subsidize lots of politically favored groups, but let's not indirectly tax exporters to the same degree.
Also, we should probably lift the American ban on American firms bribing overseas customers, that goes back to when the prime minister of Japan shook down Lockheed for a kickback on aircraft purchases, and the U.S. Congress went into a tizzy about how evil Lockheed was. Let the foreigners police themselves. If they want to arrest American salesmen who are paying kickbacks to get contracts, good for them. But why is it our duty?