Sanford and Son: Highways for sale

By Jami Jones, managing editor

The junkyard mentality has gained too much traction in D.C. when it promotes offering highways for sale.

The earliest form of recycling was “junk yards.” You could get anything and everything. The phrase “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” rings true. Just because you don’t want it, that doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t. Put it up for sale.

Enter the new administration’s plan for revitalizing the nation’s – literally – crumbling infrastructure. There is a nifty little phrase in the scheme called “asset recycling.” In our era of not trashing the planet and placing cans and plastics in the right bins, it has a warm and fuzzy feeling.

In short, this highways-for-sale plan is modeled after the Indiana Toll Road.

For those who need background, tune into the Sanford and Son theme song, and here you go: The idea is to take an “asset,” which is a road or other government-owned facility and sell it to the highest bidder. You take that money and turn around and invest in or buy something new – like a road.

The problem with this plan is, the government still owns the sold-at-auction road and has no say-so over it. Technically, for the duration of the sale, it’s the new owners who control it.

Rewind: The governor of Indiana sold the Indiana Toll Road for $3.8 billion for 75 years.

The money is gone and the first governor who will not have to deal with the fallout hasn’t been born yet.

The Indiana Toll Road is categorically a failure.

Why we are thinking about going there again on a national scale escapes me.

It is a bad idea that needs to be taken out to pasture and (choose your manner of dismissal here). LL