President's Budget: High Speed Rail, Fixing Roads & Bridges, Complete Streets, TIGER Grants

Monday, February 13, 2012 - 01:12 PM

Ok, let's remember that this is not a budget -- or that it's not a budget, only.  It's a political document, in a campaign year, that is designed to press forward President Obama's case that he is on the side hard-working Americans, not the 1 %

Having said that, the transportation portion (pdf)  is remarkable in its consistency -- you'd never know the drubbing President Obama took last year on high speed rail and the jobs act.

*Like last year, the President wants a half-trillion dollar, six-year transportation bill. (It's broken out slightly differently, but with $476 for a transportation bill and $50 billion in immediate investments -- a.k.a the jobs bill -- its almost the same as last years $550 billion proposal.)

*Like last year, the President wants to spend about $50 billion on high speed rail, despite a drubbing in Congress in 2011.

*There's no backing down on TIGER grants and "streets that accommodate pedestrian, bicycle, and transit access."

More soon, after Transpo Secretary Ray LaHood's conference call.



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Comments [4]

raymond gonzalez

Imagine driving down an interstate highway and suddenly the bridge which was designed and built during the Eisenhower Administration (1955) gives-way and the vehicle you and your family use to travel to grandma’s house falls 130 feet to the Medina River meandering below IH 35 South just north of Von Ormy Texas. All because of the constant clashing of political ideologies they love to cal discourse to determine who is correct while Rome burns, metaphorically speaking. Now imagine my fat ass coming to your home to settle the discourse. What they need is a little motivation.

May. 20 2012 11:20 AM

Yeah, Obama's bill, like the House's, is an ideological political stunt meant to pander to the base. Never mind the criticisms of both by the general public, or the fact that the recovering economy means that government spending won't be as necessary to prop it up as it was over the past few years. The House's bill is just plain stupid. It looks like it's spending a lot all at once, thus turning off the conservatives; it dumps dedicated gas taxes for transit, thus alienating city people, and it's a mess, frankly.

Feb. 22 2012 02:57 PM
Llewellyan Farms

To Ken - the last thing us already un- or underemployed in the transportation field is more Washington politics. The House bill is a job-kill bill not a jobs-creation bill and even more people in the transportation sector will be out of work, the exact opposite of what's needed just when the economy is slowly starting to improve. I recognize politics won't go away but need to point out that the movement of people and goods is NOT a partisan issue and urge those on Capital Hill to get that - for the benefit of the entire country and it's economy. Without a strong transportation network (air, rail and surface) we cannot maintain global competitiveness. I urge all legislators need to revisit that perspective.

Feb. 14 2012 10:25 AM
Kenneth Orski

There is a saying that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Since the Administration is anything but "insane," the only conclusion one can draw is that this is a calculated political strategy. The White House must know that its $476 billion multi-year surface transportation proposal has no more chance of succeeding this year than did its $556 billion package last year, rejected not only by the Republican House but also 98-0 by the Democratic-controlled Senate. So, the only possible explanation is that the White House is playing cynical election year politics, positioning itself as pro-jobs and pro-infrastructure, knowing full well that its transportation request to Congress is dead on arrival .

Feb. 13 2012 09:38 PM

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