Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Not All Government Spending is Bad

I am generally not a fan of government spending. All too often, spending bills are packed to the gills with pet projects that only benefit one Congressperson's district. A great example of this type of "pork barrel" spending is the John Murtha Airport in rural Pennsylvania. This airport only serves about 30 people per day, yet it has received more than $150 million in taxpayer money over the past two decades thanks to Congressman Murtha. Unfortunately, there are literally hundreds of examples like this one.

There is one area where I have been in favor of government money and action, and that is in improving the power grid. I truly believe that we are in an energy revolution which will have profound influences on our economy and the environment in the near future. However, in order for this revolution to succeed, we must modernize our power grid. This seems like the perfect place for government involvement. This article discusses how federal stimulus money is being used to move toward a "smart grid". If these efforts are successful, then improved energy efficiency and lower energy costs will help the economy as it recovers from the current downturn.