Tuesday, October 25, 2011

First things first

My October 12 post made the simple point that, while it is easy to speak up for various infrastructure improvements, no one has told us how to avoid getting into another porkfest.  Exhortations on the "need" for infrasrtucture spending (and possible "stimulus" effects) pop up wherever a Bootleggers and Baptists coalition can possibly be cobbled together.

I stand corrected because my colleague Richard Little has a September 24, 2010 essay in Ken Orski's Innovation NewsBriefs series (apparently gated).  Richard cites the Defense Base and Closure and Realignment Commission  (BRAC) process which was finally agreed to in 2005, which has apparently stood up and which allows for only simple up-or-down votes by Congress.

Reapportionment in California has also been farmed out to a new commission which may finally put an end to the awful practice of having politicians in the State legistlature select their voters.

So logjams can be broken.  My point on Oct 12 was simply that specifics on just how to avoid the pork trap must come first.  Until then, spare us another speech or one more finger-wagging op-ed about the "need" to fix America's infrastructure.