US Sec calls US "one big pothole... nothing's happening" without Dems' bill

April 20, 2012

Ray LaHood is quoted with colorful words by Politico reporter Burgess Everett: "America's one big pothole right now ... nothing's happening in America right now."

The reason: the Republican party leadership's stubbornness in not passing the Senate transport funding bill. LaHood says. And they are opposed because it would constitute a victory for President Obama and they're determined to deny him that in an election year.

A transport bill would be the best way to put the unemployed of America to work, says the secretary. But the intolerable GOPs don't want to see unemployment drop.

So there won't be a bill this year, the secretary says, and he's focussing on safety - campaigning against distracted driving.

Orski, Hoitsma

Ken Orski who follows such matters says that the senate bill S1813 is full of amazing financing "gimmickry" and has over $6.8b of spending totally unrelated to transportation - stuff like rural schools security, sewage and water loans.

It raises new money from items like pension fund borrowing, passport taxes, corporate securities tax changes, new taxes on cigarette machines, thrift savings account taxes, "tax enforcement against foreign entities"  and you've got to love this: $3.67b from Delay Implementation of Worldwide Interest Allocation Rules.

Only real meanies would fail to embrace this kind of brilliant innovative financing.

Orski credits Gary Hoitsma of Washington Letter on Transportation with extracting this from the vast bill in which secretary LaHood sees such lost promise.

TOLLROADSnews 2012-04-19

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