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Western Livestock Journal Nov 12, 2021

Elections have consequences

Former Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-IL) supposedly said long ago, “A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” I still can’t grasp that we’re talking about trillions here and trillions there, and no one is carting anyone off to the funny farm.

Yet here we are, having spent trillions already in the last 18 months, spending another trillion-plus on “infrastructure” and soon to consider a “scaled down” bill of another $1.75 trillion. The latter spending bill is bad enough, but the changing of the social, cultural and economic structure of our country would be cataclysmic.

Some folks cheered the passage of the infrastructure bill because we need to build and repair roads, bridges, airports, water infrastructure and electric transmission lines. Rural folks need better internet access. But that’s only about $240 billion of the $1 trillion. The rest will go to railroads—some of which could help agriculture, but it is more likely to end up in big city rail systems and public transportation rural folks will never see.

Some $50 billion is allocated to “protect against” droughts, floods and wildfires. I’m sure there are some things to reduce the impact of catastrophes, like more reservoirs, better river control and using intelligent forest management instead of enviro-zealot-driven policies.

The question is, with Biden’s revitalized and empowered Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers and legal challenges from environmental groups, will we see any of these useful projects in our lifetime?

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the infrastructure bill would add $256 billion to the budget deficit over 10 years.

Other items could be better handled by the cities and states that need them, including electric cars and buses, lead water pipe replacement, road safety, environmental cleanup and electric vehicle charging stations...


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