National Bank for Infrastructure

Several Senators, Democrat and Republican, have co-sponsored Senator John Kerry’s bill to create a national infrastructure bank.  Sounds like a great idea to me.

Can’t recall exactly the source, but years ago I came across a book or article claiming that the first example of federal matching grants to the states was for road construction a hundred or so years ago, when the typical road in one state or county within a state ended at a dirt path in another state or county.

The idea had two primary objectives: 1) leveraging federal funds by requiring that the states and counties ante up, have a stake in the outcome and 2) improving the roads so that the newfangled automobiles could reliably be used for long distance travel.

Now Senator Kerry is proposing a national infrastructure bank – you can see by my title I prefer the more catchy title of national bank for infrastructure – an idea that would leverage federal funds and repair our infrastructure.  The bank could parlay public and private funds to get going on the trillions of dollars worth of repairs needed sooner rather than later.

Of course, long-range planning is nearly impossible in our system of government, which has long since become a never-ending cycle of running for office, keeping elected officials focused solely on planning only so far ahead as the next election.

And the idea of a national bank for infrastructure isn’t as much fun as scandals and political posturing, so it might not get anywhere in Congress.

My little blog, which I’m told is only read by a few hundred people, won’t make it happen.  But if we spread the word – make the national bank for infrastructure go viral – well, maybe…..