John Stossel

"What money?" Daniels asks. "The toll road was losing money!"

If Indiana couldn't make money running the toll road, how can a private company do it?

"Your first insurance that they're going to run a better road than the politicians did is, if they don't, people won't drive on it, and they'll lose a lot of money. They have every incentive to make traffic flow swiftly, to make that drive as pleasant and safe as possible."

Private owners also have an incentive to maintain the road. Bureaucracies let the highways decay. Why did it take a recession to get them thinking about repairs?

DeFazio disagrees: "If you have toll roads, the toll authority, if properly run, can meet all of those requirements."

But do they?

"I can't account for the crummy government in Indiana or Pennsylvania. They could run them better. They could run them just as well as the private sector because the private sector runs it well and makes a profit."

But that's exactly the point! Profit management beats government management every time.

"When government runs things, it's a monopoly, and it has no competition, and there's no upside to doing a lot better job," Daniels says. "That's why we didn't have, until this new situation, electronic tolling. People were still stopping, chucking quarters into baskets. Politicians never run things well."

Why then do some congressman say you shouldn't sell public highways? Gov. Daniels has an answer:

"There are people, frankly, in Congress, who can't abide the thought that you might be able to pay for something without going down there and kissing their ring for the money."

John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at > To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at ©Creators Syndicate