Monday, January 3, 2011

Decrepid Infrastructure Must Be Number One Priority

It seems that this message is loud and clear. People get it, Congress seem to get it and President Obama has started speaking more strongly about maintenance. But words must turn into acts.

America's capital investment deficit is a great recent article from the Washington Post. I quote this:

"The two deficits are more alike than people realize. Larry Summers, the outgoing director of the National Economics Council, explains it well: You run a deficit both when you borrow money and when you defer maintenance that needs to be done. Either way, you're imposing a cost on future generations. A dollar in delayed road repairs and a dollar in borrowed money are not, in other words, that different: Both mean someone is going to have to spend a dollar later. In 2011, America should stop passing that buck."

Meanwhile, Honolulu has terrible roads, poor facilities at parks and beaches, it operates under an EPA consent decree, it has over 365 water main breaks per year, and has a current deficit of about $100 million.

Unfortunately it also has a mayor who turns his back at the avalanche of existing liabilities and focuses on starting a rail boondoggle that under best scenario estimates will cost us $300 million per year for 30 years, on top of everything else.