Yet again we see the concequences of failing to confront the ‘One Planet Equation’ – of failing to understand that the need to reduce the resource intensity of all we do is paramount. This is especially so at this critical point.
Note that this Blog does not take a political stance.
More Absurdity in the So-Called Stimulus
Thursday, January 29th 2009
Easily the biggest problem with the proposed stimulus is that instead of investing in things actually stimulate the economy, liberals are pushing their same tired agenda of bigger government and more centralized control.
Let’s take a moment and examine the broadband provisions in the bill:
$2.8 billion has been earmarked to expand broadband access in rural and underserved communities. Sounds great right? More people will have access to the new information-driven economy and more people will be able to expand their businesses through the web. Except that’s not what is actually going on here.
The money will be doled out through the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service’s Broadband Grant and Loan Program (RUS). As with many Washington-driven grant programs, RUS is rife with inefficiencies and ineffectiveness. It has repeatedly come under fire from both sides of the aisle, including liberals such as former Senator Tom Daschle (SD) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-3rd).
The chief compliant with the program is that, surprise, it doesn’t accomplish what it sets out to. Instead, RUS grants end up “overbuilding” areas that already have existing broadband service. This has two consequences. First, it drives out private industry that is already in the area because they are unable to compete with a government-subsidized program. And second, it actually ends up hurting other rural and underserved areas because broadband providers avoid entering those markets for fear of running into the problem elucidated above.
The big government borrow-and-spend bill is critically flawed because it does not take into account that all it is doing is throwing more taxpayer money at programs that range from simply inefficient to utterly worthless.
The $2.8 billion that is slated to expand an already failing RUS program could quite assuredly be better spent elsewhere.