Having so skillfully dealt with healthcare, deficit reduction, and immigration, it is now time for our Tea Party Congress to tackle the next pillar of the President’s program - infrastructure.

Having so skillfully dealt with healthcare, deficit reduction, and immigration, it is now time for our Tea Party Congress to tackle the next pillar of the President’s program - infrastructure. 
As I understand it, their idea is that the government would invest a small amount of money up front and get the private sector to put up the major funding.  How this would work has not been spelled out, but I assume it amounts to turning over roads and bridges to private companies to maintain, and allowing those companies to charge a toll to recoup their investment.
It seems to me that a better way to accomplish this would be to deed over the road in front of each person’s house to that person with the requirement that he or she maintain that portion.  To finance the filling of pot holes or resurfacing or whatever was required the homeowner could simply put up a tollbooth. Not only would this provide supplemental income to people who might need it, it would go a long way toward eliminating youth unemployment since children could be paid by their parents to man the booths.
There would be other savings as well.  Fewer police would be needed since speeding would be less of a problem with a tollbooth every 25 to 50 yards down the road.
In neighborhoods where the houses are fairly close together, people would get better acquainted as they meet neighbors while building, maintaining and manning their booths.  Some entrepreneurial streets might streamline their operations by forming co-ops with toll booths only at the ends of the blocks and revenue divided equally among the residents. Prices would be kept in line by competition, since drivers would avoid those roads that charged too much. 
For those traveling long distances, say across town, GPS directions would not only list the shortest routes by distance and by time, but also the route with the fewest tollbooths and the one with the cheapest fares.
New businesses would develop as homeowners put up small roadside shops to cater to those waiting in line at the next tollbooth.  Even non-home owners might benefit from the new prosperity by writing newspaper reviews of these shops, telling folks which streets to drive on to find the best coffee, hamburger, pedicure or shoeshine.
Some people, especially the elderly with no children to man their booths, might not want all the responsibility this plan entails.  If they are allowed to sell their road sections to rich companies, wealth will “trickle down” to individuals, and as these companies acquire bigger and bigger networks of roads, an extreme competition will develop for the driving public’s patronage.  For example, one company might claim its system will get you across town faster than the competition and call themselves “Sprint” - or if that name is taken perhaps “Jog.”  Another might advertise that their toll booths are so far apart you can barely see one from the other.  They might call their company “Horizon.” 
Large networks would offer special deals to customers who agreed to confine their driving to that network. They could drive anywhere on the network for one flat monthly payment.  On those rare occasions where a customer had to use a competitor's street to get where he wanted to go, that company would simply add a “roaming charge” to his monthly bill. 
The best thing about this new approach is that it gets rid of the socialistic government controlled transportation system we have been plagued with since the invention of the automobile and replaces it with an efficient, capitalist, entrepreneurial transportation system.


James Rhoades writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.