Recently there has been much debate about the value of a federally funded transit center in Troy. While it seems this particular project may not have a broad consensus, the idea behind the transit center should.
In these difficult times we should be looking for the best return on investment of our tax dollars. If cutting public sector jobs shows a great return, then do it. If increasing taxes tops the list of ROI, then it should be done. In this case, infrastructure spending just happens to have some of the best return possible for government spending. It is better than tax rebates, better than a payroll tax holiday, and far superior to business or capital gains tax cuts. Ask any business and they will happily go into debt to invest in a product that can increase their profit margin from $0.30 per dollar spent to $1.59 per dollar spent.
Part of the reason infrastructure spending has such a high ROI is that the money is spent here in America. Tax cuts can be used to buy goods but there is no guarantee that the ultimate benefactor of that money is domestic. Spending a little bit more on Christmas presents this year may help Wal-Mart a little but some of that money also goes to the Chinese company that manufactured the product. Infrastructure spending puts Americans to work improving America.
It also turns out that good infrastructure is important to corporations. This means improving infrastructure could bring more business to an area.
So maybe the transit center in Troy is a good idea or maybe it isn’t, but making statements like “I don’t believe…” or “I don’t think…” adds no facts to the debate. In the end if you can’t find statistical data that backs up your ideology then maybe the problem isn’t with the project but with your ideology.