In the upcoming legislative session, Aiming Higher will support efforts by the General Assembly to broaden public-private partnerships (P3) for public infrastructure in order to:The article goes on to quote the Indianapolis Business Journal and the libertarian-leaning Reason magazine (whose editors must live in a fantasy world where politics is not practiced) for the notion that public-private partnerships are great for taxpayers.
•Free state government to enlist the private sector as a partner in building new roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.
•Save taxpayers money by allowing the private sector to complete tasks in coordination with the government.
Really? How has building Conseco Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium, and heavily subsidizing the teams that play at those facilities, been good for taxpayers? Or how about the North of South development that we taxpayers are going to be on the hook for $98 million for a project deemed too risky by private lenders? Or how about the ACS deal that results in our residents paying to the private company around $1.2 billion over 50 year life of the contract when we could have bought the meters for about $6 million and kept all that money?
I'm sure that readers of this blog can add to the list of other public-private developments that are costing taxpayers a fortune while not producing the return to taxpayers originally promised when the public-private partnership was struck.
Make no mistake about it, when a politician uses the phrase "public-private partnership," grab your wallet. Public-private partnerships are almost always nothing more than corporate welfare measures involving politicians forcing taxpayers to subsidize private business ventures so that those private businesses (who are also contributors to the politicians) have less risk and can make more money.
Republicans won in 2010 because the voters overwhelming thought the GOP would be better stewards of their money. I doubt those voters, who overwhelmingly rejected Wall Street and bank bailouts, will take kindly to Republicans engaging in the same sort of corporate welfare they rejected at the polls in 2010.