Paving Trails with Good Intentions

Believing that walking trails will alleviate traffic congestion, politicians in Washington printed up a pile of dollars and handed out grants to local governments. And local politicians took the bait: After all, it was free money.

But they missed a key fact: The construction industry is already operating beyond capacity. So the flood of new money only did one thing – it raised construction prices even higher. Here in North Carolina, in one city that meant a walking trail budgeted to cost $4.5 million, shot up to $9.6 million. Who pays the other $5.1 million? The answer is simple: Local taxpayers.

Washington politicians said to local politicians, Here’s some money – build a waking trail. Local politicians walked into a trap and, with inflation driving up the cost, local taxpayers end up on the hook.