Maybe this will start a trend …
Jeff Jacoby, whom I often criticize here (and who has criticized me as well), vents today about Boston’s “Big Dig,” which was supposed to cost “only” $2.5 billion, 90% of which would be paid by you and me and other US taxpayers, not those tightwad Boston guys.
Well, now the pols admit (that’s more than you can say for the rest of them) that the Dig “will in fact cost a staggering $22 billion and not be paid off until 2038.”
If that isn’t enough, the people who use it will actually have to pay for it! Or for more of it — “What we were told in the 1980s would set us back about $350 million will actually cost us more than 50 times as much.”
When I taught at BU, I suggested to Bill Weld (governor at the time) that he trash the whole project, or privatize it and let the Koreans do it for cost plus ten percent ($1.3 billion or so, and finished on time). Instead, it turned into one of the most spectacular state-level boondoggles in history.
Will Jacoby — now filled with righteous ire — learn from this? As Bush digs himself in ever deeper, Americans might wonder: when will Jacoby and his neocon pals come back and admit how much more Iraq is going to cost than they first surmised?
Ah, for the days of “the war will pay for itself,” and “cheap oil for fifty years.”11:46 am on July 20, 2008 Email Christopher Manion