Blowing smoke and hot air up people’s dresses is what we are best at. But having the next Speaker of the House be policy wonk who decries Democratic Socialism in the manner of (Bernie Sanders) is going to chafe our loins.
When we began criticizing the automobile industry and its gas-guzzler mentality we set about passing laws that mandated ‘cleaner air‘ and that of course mean fewer gallons of fuel being burned for each mile driver. Aside from the fact that the Germans have played loose with the truth about their gas mileage (or should I say Diesel Mileage) the auto industry has bent over backwards to meet as many regulations as we could toss at them.
The one thing we did not count on was the fact that this meant the income we garnered from the twisting of the arms of politicians in our pockets to slice us off a bit of the fat from the U.S. Highway Trust Fund Bill coffers also diminished. Then came the oil glut and prices began to dwindled and despite an increased number of miles that could be driven (without increased costs) Americans decided to pocket the savings and eat out more often.
Now we are stuck. We have been lying about being equal partners in the cost of roads and cannot ‘put up or shut up‘ at present. The GOP (and rightly so) is aiming to relieve the general public of government spending that they cannot control. They want trails and other on street bicycle infrastructure to truly be powered local spending. They like me hate the idea that treating people in a manner not too different from either the Nazis or the Communist Party in post-war Russia is being tolerated and even encouraged by Liberals and Progressives for our own benefit.
It is bad enough that we really do want to wage a ‘War on Cars‘. But the final insult is that we wish to ask car drivers to fund our infrastructure as if it were far more important than their roads. In fact we are decrying the very fact that more of these highways that are already laid down are not being torn up.
It is almost as if we were having a transportation fee being levied on anyone who was transported to a gas chamber by cattle car.
Enough is enough! Find a way to fund our bicycle infrastructure on our own dime. If we are claiming that our taxes already pay for park district and forest preserve district trails, then fine. I won’t argue that fact. But if we want more of them, we should be willing to see our local taxes increased to pay for them.
Either we truly believe in the U.S. PIRG propaganda or we don’t. In the meantime let the driving public pay for its highways with all the dollars collected from its purchase of gasoline. Likewise let the mass transit users of America pay for their repairs and improvements with fare increases of their own. It will be painful, but it will certainly make the groups that oversee these services more attentive to their customer base.
If they know that a price hike is tied directly to a vote of the general public who are actual users of their services, they will be a good deal more circumspect about what they do with the money.
The WSJ is showing however that sales of automobiles are making a noticeable turnaround this year.