What do the farm bill, the cap-and-trade global warming bill, the clean water bill, the housing bailout bill, and the school construction bill all have in common? Not much, except that in each one and countless others the Democratic majority in Congress has inserted "prevailing-wage" requirements that amount to a super-minimum wage.
We're speaking of Davis-Bacon, the 1931 law that originally applied to road building and other federal construction projects and set a floor on wages in part to price black and Mexican workers out of the work. Today, its main impact is to require de facto union wages. Many reputable studies have estimated that Davis-Bacon inflates federal construction costs by anywhere from 5% to 39%.
So while Democrats insist that one of their top priorities is to solve America's "infrastructure crisis," what they aren't saying is that we could be building about 25% more bridges and roads by repealing Davis-Bacon. Instead, they want to expand its rules to nearly every activity that receives a penny of government money.