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Lobbying for Congestion

In Ayn Rand’s bestselling screed against the evils of bureaucracy, Atlas Shrugged, the nation’s infrastructure collapses as political hacks and regulators exert ever more control. In one of the book’s best-known scenes (outside of John Galt’s absurd 60-page radio diatribe), a series of politically motivated stupidities causes a diesel locomotive to collide with a train loaded with explosives. That leads to the spectacular destruction of the Taggart Tunnel.

’s infrastructure has likewise been collapsing after years of neglect — despite record-setting state revenues. But the state’s political leaders aren’t content merely allowing our roads, freeways, bridges, and water systems to fall into disrepair. These days they aren’t just shrugging at bureaucratic incompetence. They actively are sabotaging these infrastructure systems.

If that sounds like an overstatement, then consider the latest evidence. Two weeks ago, this column spotlighted one state agency’s efforts to torpedo an Orange County desalination

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