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News Opinion

Transit a dubious public expenditure, not an 'investment'

While I agree with Scot Spencer's recent assertion that "investments" must create jobs ("Md. must make sure transit investments create jobs here," Sept. 18), I think an "investment" in mass public transportation is a net loser. Until the farebox can cover at least the operating expenses, don't "invest" a dime in it. The whole concept of mass transit is a social engineering project intended to locate jobs, housing, etc., where the government wants them, not necessarily where people would choose to live and work. It's a form of welfare intended to subsidize those who chose not to use their own cars or for those who have made poor choices in life and can't afford to provide their own transportation.

The whole "investment" word usage is a snow-job as well. We can thank Gov. Martin O'Malley for that word-usage travesty. Progressives (why can't they just call themselves what they are, liberals), seem unable to use the proper words, "spending projects." An "investment" implies a positive return on spending; it's highly likely that any positive benefits would fall well short of the negative total return from mass transit projects. The conundrum faced by such dubious federal laws such as Buy America, is that such mandated buying or hiring programs inflate the cost projections, furthering the gap between expenditure (investment) and benefit. When will the madness end?

Let the market play out, its record of success far exceeds that of government.

Craig R. Piette, Reisterstown

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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