Monday, September 3, 2007

Texas Setting Up PEU's Infrastructure Boys

Texas Department of Transportation wants the U.S. Congress to allow the state to buy back interstate highways so they can be turned into private toll roads. Nevermind who paid for the roads originally, taxpayers. As citizens they can pay for that same road again and again. Who benefits? The private firms who get to buy government assets as a deep discount and the politicians they wine, dine and line their campaign coffers with cash.

For an example of generous tax breaks, look no further than America's other infrastructure area, shipping. The new tonnage tax gave U.S. flagged ships a turbo charged profit boost, courtesy of the individual taxpayer. Why should the public expect roads to be any different? Especially with the infamous Carlyle Group intent on expanding its infrastructure holdings. They doubled their money on Horizon Lines in just over a year's time.

How far behind can roads be? Look for generous tax breaks for the PEU boys. One Carlyle sub, Vought Aircraft Industries already milked the state of Texas several times. Through its Carlyle Riverstone energy venture, the firm owns power generating plants in Texas, previously owned by AEP. My guess is they've fed off the state coffers, I just have to dig around for dirt.