Thursday, January 16, 2014

How to Fund Infrastructure Responsibly


Last week, discussing the current Texas budget, Chuck DeVore illustrated how Medicaid is "crowding out roads."  DeVore touched on a deeper truth than we realized at the time.  It won't be easy politically, but there's a simple solution to Texas' infrastruture funding challenges.

Cut Medicaid to fund roads and bridges.

Medicaid is a festering public policy abomination.  It abuses our most vulnerable.  It creates worse health outcomes.  It bankrupts doctors.  Left unchecked, even without expansion, it will bankrupt the state of Texas.

Unlike socialized medicine, responsibly funded infrastructure is a legitimate function of government.  The challenge is how to fund infrastructure responsibly.  A $24 billion budget item that injures its recipients is a good place to start.

Obama will obviously complain, but so what?!?  When Obama attempts to hold us hostage with our own money, we should tell him to pound sand.  Who says Texas needs to participate in Medicaid in the first place?!?

Medicaid is also the primary source for intergovernmental transfer payments from the Feds; downsizing Texas' Medicaid program will reduce our exposure to Washington.

As a growing state, Texas has legitimate infrastructure challenges.  Medicaid, simultaneously, is consuming an ever-growing share of state funds that could pay for infrastructure.  Politically, this won't be easy to pass, but the substance of this solution is simple.

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