American Opinion: On transportation:
An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:
It's remarkable what Congress can do when money is no object, as the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure demonstrated when it put out a blueprint for a reauthoriza-tion bill to govern the nation's spending on transportation. It's a cornucopia of goodies that's getting strong reviews from interest groups, mainly because it gives them nearly everything they've been asking for: Environmentalists get a new bureaucracy to encourage green projects, public transit agencies get a big influx of cash, high-speed rail enthusiasts get new trains, and states get billions in additional money to build and improve roads, bridges and highways.
There's just one small detail that has been left out -- so far, the committee hasn't identified a way to pay for any of this. And the price tag is breathtaking: $500 billion over six years, a 53 percent hike over federal transportation spending in the previous six.
As much as we appreciate getting an advance look at House Democrats' thinking on the trans-portation bill, they seem to be putting the caboose before the locomotive. The blueprint lays out some forward-thinking ways of reinventing the transportation finance system, whose structure was created in 1956 and is badly in need of an overhaul. But it puts off until later the far more important questions about funding, and without those answers, the blueprint amounts to little more than a utopian fantasy. ...
-- Los Angeles Times