So Congress did something. The Highway bill passes

posted at 2:31 pm on June 30, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

So much for the theory that Congress can’t get anything done, eh? While the nation was fixated on the Supreme Court decisions, Hillary Clinton backstabbing the president and Aaron Sorkin’s future as the ruler of the world, the folks on The Hill quietly slipped through one piece of what should have been news. They passed a bill.

Congress on Friday approved legislation that will extend federal highway programs through 2014, a low interest rate on student loans for one year, and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years.

Leaders in the House and Senate negotiated the giant package, leaving no doubt that it would have enough support to pass. The bill will likely be the last major piece of legislation approved by Congress until after the November elections.

The House voted 373-52 in favor of the bill, which was supported by every voting Democrat, while 52 Republicans opposed it. In the Senate, the tally was 74-19, with 23 Republicans joining every Democrat in voting for the measure. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) voted present, while Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) missed the vote.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama looks forward to signing the bill.

Hot Air is, sadly, unable to afford the budget for fainting couches for all of you, nor to cover the medical bills of those injured doing trust falls while we all play Bob Dylan’s greatest hits.

So, what got done with this?

The highway portion of the bill authorizes spending of about $120 billion through 2014, and funds most of that by extending various fuel and highway taxes. But because those taxes don’t fully cover planned spending, the bill raises new revenues from companies by making changes to the way corporate pensions are calculated, and by increasing premiums paid to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

The vote also ends a long streak without a long-term highway bill. The last transportation bill that was approved by Congress was supposed to expire in September 2009, when former Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) ran the Transportation Committee in the House. Instead, the measure was temporarily extended nine times, including the latest three-month appropriation that was scheduled to expire on Saturday.

Unfortunately there were more than a few babies that got thrown out with the bathwater. I agree that the transportation bill includes a number of items affecting interstate transportation which need to be taken care of. But the provision for passing the Keystone XL pipeline was dumped. Further, any idea of seriously paying for the cost was washed away under the highly dubious umbrella of altering “how corporate pensions are collected.”

Also, the bill extends a discount on student loans. Very nice if you’re a student or person paying those bills I’m sure, but it fails to address the “who will pay for this” portion of the question. Then again, it’s an election year and I guess we don’t want a bunch of angry young voters showing up at the polls, do we?

Yet again, when I see language in a massive spending bill phrased in that way, my first instinct is to reach for my back pocket and see if my wallet is still there. We needed to get this work done, but this bill represented a chance for Congress to get together and demonstrate that they’ve learned the lessons of elections past and could actually tell us how they plan to pay for it with our money. For the sake of the jobs involved and the work which needs to be done, I’m glad they managed to pass something. But the larger test was failed yet again.


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More debt.

pat on June 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Hot Air is, sadly, unable to afford the budget for fainting couches for all of you

well dammit, just mandate it — call it a tax — and let it be so!/

ted c on June 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM

The Wall Street Journal prints a good editorial titled “Highway to Heaven” – behind the firewall but accessible with search.

It starts like this:

There was bipartisan joy in Washington Friday, and you can guess the reason: They were spending money, big money. Congress passed a $120 billion highway funding bill. The vote in the Senate was 74-19 and 373-52 in the House. Who says Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on anything?

The bill has one other notable achievement: It’s crammed with a remarkable array of budget gimmicks voters aren’t supposed to notice.

Drained Brain on June 30, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Congress passes student loans, highway jobs bill
…d-cRAT socialist PANDERING, MASSIVE WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY, and bipartisan PORK – now, isn’t that the way CONgress is supposed to work!

TeaPartyNation on June 30, 2012 at 2:43 PM

So, will the money be borrowed from our enemies, or will Big Ben Bernanke just print up some more fiat?

LegendHasIt on June 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Compare:

But Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who sponsored a point of order objecting to the package under the Budget Control Act, said a vote for the bill was a vote for excessive government spending.

“I just want to say … it continues to be unbelievable to me that this body does not have the courage, does not have the will, does not have the discipline to even live within a very modest budget that was laid out last August,” Corker said.

vs.

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, seemed relived to be finally approving a long-term highway bill after several short-term extensions.

“It is good to be at this point in the completion of a long-overdue transportation reform bill. A lot of people said it couldn’t be done,” Mica said.

aquaviva on June 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Shovel-Ready jobs?

;)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on June 30, 2012 at 2:57 PM

So, will the money be borrowed from our enemies, or will Big Ben Bernanke just print up some more fiat?

LegendHasIt on June 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM

The Magic 8-Ball says… ‘Fiat’.

trigon on June 30, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Why should I, or anyone else get excited about this?

It’s like getting excited because a waitress brought me a fork.

The highway portion of the bill authorizes spending of about $120 billion through 2014, and funds most of that by extending various fuel and highway taxes. But because those taxes don’t fully cover planned spending, the bill raises new revenues from companies by making changes to the way corporate pensions are calculated, and by increasing premiums paid to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Given that this is a massive pork sandwich funded by increased taxes and fees, along with a touch of dubious financial slight of hand, I’m surprised it didn’t get passed sooner.

Given Congress’s massive new powers of taxation, I’m sure they’ll have this thing fully funded in no time!

BTW, Mr. Shaw, I didn’t think your writing could get any worse today, but you’ve managed to surprise me.

Mr. Arkadin on June 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Not to worry folks, the Tooth Fairy is going to come and lay some serious cash under the Treasury Dept’s pillow.

GarandFan on June 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Not to Worry, Barry is going to promise to forgive all those student loans in exchange for voting for him early and often this year.

Robert Jensen on June 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM

I remember when Obama was running, and then soon after when Porkulus reared its scruffy (scrofa?) head these Libs were going on and on and on about our “crumbling infrastructure”.

Though nothing was done about our “crumbling infrastructure” and billions were siphoned off to foreign countries, and nothing really got fixed beyond the norm, the “crumbling infrastructure” phrase suddenly disappeared from their talking points.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM

So Congress did something… reads like a lefty headline.

That something is more spending, and raising “revenue” (cough, cough).

kevinkristy on June 30, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Then again, it’s an election year and I guess we don’t want a bunch of angry young voters showing up at the polls, do we?

It doesn’t matter, there is not longer a six month grace period for paying student loans after graduation and you have to pay on them while in grad school and the interest rate reprieve is only for one year. Do you have a clue as to who is unhappy and who’s fault they think it is?

http://twitchy.com/2012/06/30/oops-students-outraged-by-deal-to-prevent-student-loan-rates-from-doubling/

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 3:11 PM

I’m glad you caught this back door maneuvre.While attention was focused on Holder and the SC betrayal, a second betrayal was occurring as Republicans joined Democrats in sneaking a Highway Bill filled with pork and front-ended with expenses and back loaded with apocryphal spending cuts-which, of course, will only occur on February 30th in the 26th. Century. This will greatly exacerbate our debt mess already spirali9ng out of control thanks to over-regulation and the prospects of Obama-care.

MaiDee on June 30, 2012 at 3:11 PM

The Rs gave up Keystone.

Always count on being Fluked and betrayed by the Rs.

Throw most all out in Nov. The Republic will otherwise not survive as you know her.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Alert

thanks to over-regulation and the prospects of Obama-care.
MaiDee on June 30, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Please, all on the right, if you are a rightist, STOP calling it Obamacare, because it is NOT. It has nothing to do with “care” of any sort.

Call it the ObamaTax.

It is the biggest tax in international history, on the middle class.

Because it is a regressive tax, Obama hates the middle class and the poor.

He just wants the votes of the poor, and the elites’.

Internalize this and make use of it. Otherwise he will win over you and your lives will be over.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:15 PM

it’s nothing but a porkfest, congress is incapable of behaving responsibly.

exceller on June 30, 2012 at 3:20 PM

The House voted 373-52 in favor of the bill, which was supported by every voting Democrat, while 52 Republicans opposed it. In the Senate, the tally was 74-19, with 23 Republicans joining every Democrat in voting for the measure. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) voted present, while Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) missed the vote.
===================================================================

Who Voted!?

Roll,
#449,450,451!

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/index.asp
__________________________________________

112th Congress, 2nd Session (2012)
http://clerk.house.gov/legislative/legvotes.aspx

canopfor on June 30, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Otherwise he will win over you and your lives will be over.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:15 PM

You crazy if you think that King Urkel Putz is going to take me over. You crazy.

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 3:28 PM

PORK. It’s what’s for dinner in DC.

maineconservative on June 30, 2012 at 3:32 PM

a low interest rate on student loans for one year
==================================================

Oh ya,after the sneaky Democrats,put in a provision to jack up the interest rate to 6 or so percent in 2012,and then lowers in 2013,
and a stunt,just before the 2012 Election,portraying the Libs as
saviours!

And,they put that little interest rate jack-up,for student loans,
about five years ago,oh,and blamed Team red for it…

….very clever,and blamed the GOP,adding Political Insult to Injury!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
____________________________

The current rate for subsidized Stafford loans was set by Democrats in 2007 through legislation

that temporarily reduced interest rates for the low- and middle-income undergraduates who receive them.

The rate went to 3.4 percent from 6.8 percent

and was scheduled to revert to the higher figure on July 1, 2012,

without Congressional intervention.
***********************************

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/student_loans/index.html

canopfor on June 30, 2012 at 3:39 PM

PORK. It’s what’s for dinner in DC.

maineconservative on June 30, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Yeah, but that’s not a pork sandwich that the government is feeding us.

john1schn on June 30, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Schadenfreude-I undertand your feelings completely-Maybe we can call the Obama-care TAX because if we call it the Obama Tax-we will have to say WHICH ONE–1 The Bush tax cuts will soon expire-this is really an Obama tax increase. 2 Obama-care is a tax-affirmed by the SC. 3 Over-regulation is a tax because it means companies pass the costs on to consumers. 4 Passively allowing illegals into the country is a tax because it swells the food stamp programs, unemployment, medical and health costs and the costs of additional criminal activity. 5 Allowing jobs to go overseas is a tax because it swells unemployment, destroys the Social Security base and reduces our price competition internationally. 6 increasing the number of government workers and gining them 60% higher salaries than people who don’t order $7000 sushi at Vegas conventions is a tax because mostly the Middle Class has to pay for these leeaches.

Worse yet-future governments could restrict your right to vote, assemble, criticize the government, etc. all they have to do is call it a TAX and the SC will go along with them.

MaiDee on June 30, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I hate to sound like a liberal, but I’m disappointed the bill cuts spending on bicycling & walking infrastructure (which transportation bills usually fund). It will cut investments in biking and walking as much as 60-70%. More info here.

KS Rex on June 30, 2012 at 3:51 PM

The Rs gave up Keystone.

Always count on being Fluked and betrayed by the Rs.

Throw most all out in Nov. The Republic will otherwise not survive as you know her.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Don’t worry. The Republicans will make amends by repealing ObamaCare. lol.

bw222 on June 30, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Yeah, but that’s not a pork sandwich that the government is feeding us.

More like a sausage sandwich, before the entrails have been washed out and stuffed with ground parts.

Kenosha Kid on June 30, 2012 at 3:55 PM

If this is the best we are getting on weekends…

It’s like a copy paste job from DU on “bipartisanship”.

This is not what I come here to read. Maybe if it was dumbed down to around, say, 11th grade I could comprehend the splendor of such wit. But alas, all I see is more frigging spending.

Take your bipartisanship and shove it.

It’s my express opinion you are a poor writer, full of yourself, and about as sage as Mr. Brooks. Maybe it’s a NY thing?

I have zero reason to come here on weekends if all we get is this nonsense. I doubt I’m alone. So maybe that fainting couch money could be spent more wisely. Like on better columnist.

Ed, hope you hear me.

wolly4321 on June 30, 2012 at 3:59 PM

The bill pays for 27 months of highway funding– no longer paid for out of the federal gas tax trust fund, but out of general revenues– with 10 years worth of revenues and “spending cuts,” the same ploy used to “pay for” Obamacare.

The bill– The Highway Funding Bill– allows corporations to contribute less to their defined-beneft pension plans (the largest 100 of which are already underfunded by roughly $200 billion, according to the American Enterprise Institute), in exchange for slightly higher premium payments that reduce the federal budget deficit somewhat. This allowed Congress to claim the revenue increase (never mind the increased liability exposure of taxpayers to future pension plan bail-outs) as an “offset” of the $120 billion highway bill’s total cost, along with future “savings.”

A $1.2 trillion budget deficit and all these clowns can do is spend. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel called this rare display of bipartisanship an “out of body experience.”

More like out of their minds.

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 4:18 PM

There should never be another Federal Highway bill. The Interstate Highway system is complete. It’s time for the Feds to stop stealing from one state’s motorists to pay for highways in another state. We can’t afford it anyway.

Kohath on June 30, 2012 at 4:46 PM

I hate to sound like a liberal, but I’m disappointed the bill cuts spending on bicycling & walking infrastructure (which transportation bills usually fund). It will cut investments in biking and walking as much as 60-70%. More info here.

KS Rex on June 30, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Bike and pedestrian trails are local. Pay for them out of your local government budgets.

Cyclists and pedestrians also don’t pay gas tax for the miles biked or walked on their trails. Pay for your own trails. If you can’t get your local government to pay, then I suggest starting a non-profit fund and asking for donations.

Kohath on June 30, 2012 at 4:52 PM

The title should say instead “Senate can actually get something done”… Harry Reid using the Senate as a roadblock to run interference for Obama needs a permanent vacation.

b1jetmech on June 30, 2012 at 5:15 PM

In other words, we got Bo(e)hned again.

Steve Eggleston on June 30, 2012 at 5:25 PM

The gubmint shuld forgive all student loans and all principal for mortgages for all current homeowners and reimbursements for those who paid off their homes in the last 2 years.

They should then call for a payroll tax holiday for a year and tell the corrupt banks to swollow the mortgage and student loan loses with the billions in tax payer money they stole during the bailout.

Then institute a flat tax after the paroll holiday.

Economic explosion.

rickyricardo on June 30, 2012 at 5:26 PM

So, will the money be borrowed from our enemies, or will Big Ben Bernanke just print up some more fiat?

LegendHasIt on June 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM

The Magic 8-Ball says… ‘Fiat’.

trigon on June 30, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Yes, gas prices should be on the rise again soon. Republicans never learn and Romney isn’t going to make a difference.

rickv404 on June 30, 2012 at 5:27 PM

So, will the money be borrowed from our enemies, or will Big Ben Bernanke just print up some more fiat?

LegendHasIt on June 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Big Business, or at least the portion of Big Business that still offers pensions, get to foot the bill…

But because those taxes don’t fully cover planned spending, the bill raises new revenues from companies by making changes to the way corporate pensions are calculated, and by increasing premiums paid to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Steve Eggleston on June 30, 2012 at 5:36 PM

The gubmint shuld forgive all student loans and all principal for mortgages for all current homeowners and reimbursements for those who paid off their homes in the last 2 years.

They should then call for a payroll tax holiday for a year and tell the corrupt banks to swollow the mortgage and student loan loses with the billions in tax payer money they stole during the bailout.

Then institute a flat tax after the paroll holiday.

Economic explosion.

rickyricardo on June 30, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Let me guess, you would make out like a gangster under that plan?

Banks paid back all bailout money with interest, with two exceptions, AIG and GM/Chrysler. The UAW did all the ‘stealing’.

slickwillie2001 on June 30, 2012 at 5:57 PM

And because of how Big Pension Business foots that bill (reduced funding of pensions that already are underfunded by hundreds of billions of dollars in exchange for a “slightly” higher tax bill and slighly higher but likely woefully-insufficient increase in contributions to the federal pension backstop), Big Politics is happy, Big Labor is happy, Big Pension Business is happy, and we just got screwed.

Steve Eggleston on June 30, 2012 at 5:58 PM

So Congress did something. The Highway bill passes
===================================================

Looks like the Progressives are a tad p*ssed at Team Right!

Analysis: Cutting Red Tape In Transportation Bill Means Cutting You Out Of The Environmental Review Process
Jun 29, 2012 at 10:28 am
************************

However, environmentalists, right-to-know advocates, and community organizers

need to take a close look at the section that discusses “Accelerated Decision Making.” For the first time, but likely not the last,

conservative politicians in the House won a major
*************************************************

victory in this small section of the bill by including their “streamlining” language,

which simply means curtailing the public’s ability to comment on the impacts of transportation projects for communities — including on water, air, and public safety.(More…)
==========================================

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/06/29/508689/analysis-cutting-red-tape-in-transportation-bill-means-cutting-you-out-of-the-environmental-review-process/

canopfor on June 30, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Big Business, or at least the portion of Big Business that still offers pensions, get to foot the bill…

But because those taxes don’t fully cover planned spending, the bill raises new revenues from companies by making changes to the way corporate pensions are calculated, and by increasing premiums paid to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Steve Eggleston on June 30, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Although, when these underfunded Big Business pension plans fail (and the largest 100 of them already are underfunded by $200 billion or so, according to the American Enterprise Institute), the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation doesn’t have enough money to cover all of the pension liabilities– so guess who really winds up footing the bill for all of this? The answer isn’t Big Business.

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Steve Eggleston on June 30, 2012 at 5:58 PM

As you say.

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Thanks for the info Steve. I couldn’t bring myself to read the whole thing.

So, this decision is even worse, in the short-mid-term than if Big Ben just printed up the fiat.

But yeah, The GOP is going to save us from 0bamaHealthControlTaxMandate. Sure they will.

Anyone not headed for Galt’s Gulch better start packing.

LegendHasIt on June 30, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Stupid is as stupid does.

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 6:19 PM

So Congress did something. The Highway bill passes

…I wish people would quit referring to “Congress”….refer to the “House” and the “SENATE”!!!!
The House has been getting things done only to be bottled up in the Senate!….the Senate has supplied no budget for all these years, bottled up one bill after another…the piece should read should read: “So the SENATE did something!

KOOLAID2 on June 30, 2012 at 6:20 PM

how much of the highway bill actually pays for ‘highway’ projects????

RonK on June 30, 2012 at 6:20 PM

The gubmint shuld forgive all student loans and all principal for mortgages for all current homeowners and reimbursements for those who paid off their homes in the last 2 years.

They should then call for a payroll tax holiday for a year and tell the corrupt banks to swollow the mortgage and student loan loses with the billions in tax payer money they stole during the bailout.

Then institute a flat tax after the paroll holiday.

Economic explosion.

rickyricardo on June 30, 2012 at 5:26 PM

forgot that /sarc tag, did ya?

john1schn on June 30, 2012 at 6:20 PM

The largest tax increase in history.

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 6:19 PM

…boy!…you knocked off early last night! (:->)

KOOLAID2 on June 30, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Don’t worry. The Republicans will make amends by repealing ObamaCare. lol.

bw222 on June 30, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Something about chickens and hatching. Oh yeah, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

chemman on June 30, 2012 at 6:22 PM

The party that will save us all! Yay!!

Mr. Arrogant on June 30, 2012 at 6:39 PM

BTW, Mr. Shaw, I didn’t think your writing could get any worse today, but you’ve managed to surprise me.
Mr. Arkadin on June 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

If you don’t like the bloggers here go elsewhere.

Question: Isn’t this the bill Mr. Obama threatened to veto if it didn’t include making our men and women in uniform pay more for tri-care?

txhsmom on June 30, 2012 at 6:52 PM

If we all ran our lives like the stools in DC we’d be living in a van down by the river.

Rio Linda Refugee on June 30, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Spreading the debt around to all its subjects! Crony Capitalism is alive and thriving in the bad new USSA.

aposematic on June 30, 2012 at 8:15 PM

If this is the last thing Congress does between now and NO-vember, great…

Since Dingy Harry refuses to pass a budget in the US Senate, “less is more” works for me…

Khun Joe on June 30, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Isn’t this bill supposed to cover repairs and improvements to the Nations Interstate system? Why then is the busiest freight corridor in the country essentially ignored in this bill?

The Brent Spence Bridge crosses the Ohio River between Covington, KY and Cincinnati, Oh and combines the traffic of I-75 and I-71 into traffic twice the density the bridge was design for. Do we have to wait until it falls into the river to replace it?

jackal40 on June 30, 2012 at 9:37 PM

I thought Boehner said there would be no more omnibus bills merged together that were unrelated.

SouthernGent on June 30, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Even better – the transportation bill is going to cost thousands of jobs:

Roll-your-own smokes shops to close under feds’ new rules

As members of Congress hailed the transportation bill that passed on Friday as an engine for job growth, several local business owners said it could destroy them and put thousands out of work.

An amendment in the transportation bill expands the definition of a tobacco manufacturer to include businesses that operate roll-your-own cigarette machines. It requires the businesses to get manufacturing permits, place health warnings on packs and pay excise taxes on the cigarettes their machines make.

Local business owners said they must stop using their machines by midnight tonight, when the legislation is expected to take effect.

kteemac on June 30, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Q. What is orange, weighs 4 tons and sleeps 8?

A, A CalTrans crew truck.

SJBill on June 30, 2012 at 11:39 PM

One other little gem in the transportation bill: amending the current federal definition of a manufacturer of tobacco products to include commercial roll-your-own tobacco machines .

Yeah, yeah, I know… smoking is bad for you. But with the exorbitant taxes on tobacco products, using a commercial RYO machine saved me about $1500/year. Now that the definition has been changed, any convenience store that wants to use provide the RYO machines must comply with umpteen federal guidelines… quicksand that no retailer in their right mind would want to wade into.

Not to mention… the manufacturers of these RYO’s must now change their business model, and are in real danger of shutting down. (I guess this won’t help Obama’s saved or created job count.

dalewalt on June 30, 2012 at 11:46 PM

(not sure why the links didn’t come through above, but here and here)

dalewalt on June 30, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Bonehead strikes again.

There is no hope for America.

We are doomed to bankruptcy and third world status.

Change you can believe in. Radical Transformation.

Brought to you by Republicans like Bonehead and Mitt.

Steveangell on July 1, 2012 at 12:38 AM

but this bill represented a chance for Congress to get together and demonstrate that they’ve learned the lessons of elections past and could actually tell us how they plan to pay for it with our money.

Easy, print ‘mo money. The congress critter are just paying back all those road construction companies for their donations. Missoula, Mt., built a lot of bike lanes with the stim money now they want to raise the county gas tax by .02/gal to build side walks in the city. See how this works, take from all to help the few. Here’s an idea, if you want a side walk in front of your house, you pay for it yourself.

Kissmygrits on July 1, 2012 at 8:42 AM

This year, the U.S. government will collect $2.47 trillion in tax revenue. $2.17 trillion will be paid out to individuals. $.095 trillion will be spent on transportation. Everything else including interest – defense, every payroll, every building, all education funding, etc., amounts to $1.55 trillion.

The government collects a massive amount of taxes that should be enough for any legitimate function, including maintaining a first-world road system. And yet people wonder if we can actually afford it. The so-called “infrastructure crisis” is the entitlement crisis. The “federal” government could cut entitlements by 4% and double transportation funding and still have the same total budget.

Numbers for crunching provided by usgovernmentspending.com

Transpo on July 1, 2012 at 11:14 PM

I have no sympathy for those that think they need a loan for college, or think that mommy and daddy should pay for everything. I paid for all of my degrees out of my pocket. It took a little longer than some of my friends, but I didn’t finish with a ton of debt and no job. I worked because I was mrried and had kids. My choice. As an academic I can tell you there are three types of students; one that is working and going to school with a reduced load; two, those that went into the military and are using the GI Bill (and yes, we owe them), or those on student loans or riding mon and dad’s coattails. Of the three the last gets the press attention and the other two will eventually get the jobs and come out the better for it.

georgeofthedesert on July 2, 2012 at 4:33 PM