False prophets delivering false profits

False prophets delivering false profits

“Gov. Wolf praises Biden administration’s bold infrastructure plan,” read the headline atop the gubernatorial news release this month.

“It’s critical. It’s important. We’re moving forward,” said Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald of the multitrillion-dollar proposal. “(F)or us to continue to move forward, we need the partnership of the federal government.”

“Three trillion dollars that will go much further than just roads and bridges but (also) investment into people,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said.

Never mind the myriad devils in the infrastructure program details that just don’t add up.

Such as the claim that a high percentage of transit trains in one state are functionally obsolete and require millions of dollars to replace. Never mind that the state does not have any transit trains.

Such as the hundreds of billions of dollars pledged to make home and buildings more “energy efficient.” Never mind, as The Wall Street Journal reminds, recounting a study of one state’s experience, that upfront costs for such efforts were twice the energy savings. The annual average rate of return on the “investment”? A negative 7.8 percent.

Such as paying all manner of bribes to turn “green” America’s energy infrastructure. Never mind the manifest danger to reliability and affordability. But why worry when Uncle Sam and Aunt Samantha are covering the cost of throwing the rules of cost efficiency to the wind that can’t generate a sufficient amount of wind turbine electricity to support the grid. So to speak.

And we could go on and on about the senseless projects and programs whose failures will be covered up with more taxpayer money to offset the net losses these “investments” produce.

It’s no way to run a country. It’s no way to run a state. Yet Wolf supports it. It’s no way to run a county. Yet Fitzgerald supports it. It’s no way to run a city. Yet Peduto supports it.

But it is a surefire way to run deeper into the abyss of false prophets delivering false profits.

And rest assured, when the failures become evident, as they always do, and designers and ardent supporters of such program have egg on their faces, they’ll find some way to blame the chicken for their public policy abhorrences.

Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).