When politicians tell voters that the government will create jobs through infrastructure programs, they do not realize that these programs may crowd out jobs in the private sector. The money for these infrastructure projects has to come from somewhere to pay for those government jobs.

When the government raises taxes to pay for “new” government-sponsored jobs, it takes that money from private businesses or consumers, thus reducing jobs in the private sector. Thus, usually, government spending does not result in a net increase in total jobs in the economy. Maintaining and upgrading our decaying infrastructure is important as an investment in our economy. It should not be a jobs-creation program but an investment program.

As most of us know, the government is not noted for its efficient use of taxpayer money. Compare the U.S. Post Office to Federal Express and UPS. Look at the $500 toilet seats purchased by the Pentagon and the infamous Alaskan Bridge to nNowhere. Construction projects usually cost more than in the private sector because of pork barrel requirements such as living wage requirements, union requirements, complex bidding procedures and the latest lobbyists’ pet requirement.

Under the best of circumstances, the government does not spend money as efficiently as the private sector or consumers. Consequently, it is generally more efficient to let consumers and private businesses spend their hard-earned money where they see fit rather than have the government spend it for them.

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