Dear WTOP: Rep. Moran Wrong about Metro Costs

Editor, WTOP Radio

Washington, D.C.

Dear Editor:

Interviewed this morning in your report on how Uncle Sam will assume many of the insurance obligations for the Metro transit system, Rep. Jim Moran asserted that this assumption of obligations will "cost taxpayers nothing."

How absurd. Government provision of insurance to Metro would cost taxpayers nothing only if it were certain that whatever insurance claims Metro files in the future will be lower in value than whatever insurance premiums Metro pays. But if this outcome were certain, each and every private insurance company would be jumping at the opportunity to insure Metro. The fact that government feels obliged to serve as Metro's insurer strongly suggests that the expected value of Metro's future claims on its policy exceed the value of the premiums it will pay to Uncle Sam. Taxpayers will be on the hook for the difference.


Donald J. Boudreaux