Infrastructure Plan Should Be Pursued

Infrastructure may be on President Donald Trump’s agenda for his State of the Union speech tonight. Let us hope so. Many states, including West Virginia and Ohio, need help repairing crumbling roads, bridges, water treatment plants, sewerage systems and other essential facilities.

As usual, liberals in Congress object.

Remember, these are the same people who warned the national debt sky would fall if American families and businesses were granted some tax relief. But when it comes to government spending our hard-earned dollars, it is a different story.

One proposal aired by the White House would have the federal government provide $200 billion during a 10-year period for infrastructure improvements. Trump’s hope is that amount could be leveraged into a $1.6 trillion package, with localities and states providing much of the money.

Here in West Virginia, that idea has some appeal because of what voters did last fall. They approved issuance of $1.6 billion in bonds to fund highway and bridge projects during a multi-year period. In other words, if Trump envisions rewarding states for their investments, ours is a bit ahead of the game.

Liberals in Congress want Washington to provide $1 trillion in infrastructure funding. What a coincidence that the amount is roughly what they protested when it was to be used for tax reform and building the economy.

Trump’s idea — for productive spending rather than pie-in-the-sky projects such as impractical high-speed railroads — has merit. Liberals should not be permitted to fatten up what could, without strict safeguards, throw money away on absurd pork-barrel projects.