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Thursday, July 9, 2015

VIDEO: What could go wrong?

Republican Plan to Gut and Privatize Federal Highways

It’s pretty obvious when you look around at the roads and crumbling bridges that America’s infrastructure needs some work. And to most members of Congress that’s pretty obvious too.

Democrats like Bernie Sanders and President Obama have requested that the federal government increase spending on infrastructure in order to repair current conditions and prevent imminent disasters.

A couple of Republicans, however, have a better idea. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) want to defund the federal highway system. These two brilliant anti-government lawmakers have introduced the Transportation Empowerment Act, also known as “the TEA Act.”  The act proposes lowering the gas tax that currently pays for most federal transportation projects from 18.4 cents per gallon to 3.7 cents in five years.

Here’s Tom Graves a Republican from Georgia explaining it to FOX’s most smug and self-important talking head, expat Stuart Varney. For YouTube, CLICK HERE.

Senator Lee also explained why he is attacking the federal interstate system in this statement:
“The federal government’s Highway Trust Fund is broke and another year of band aid funding is not going to fix it. The Interstate Highway System was completed decades ago, drivers are buying less gas, and the federal government has wasted far too much money on non-highway projects. It is just an outdated system that is long overdue for reform.”
DeSantis of course agrees with Lee, saying “American communities face a variety of transportation needs and it makes little sense to have Washington, DC serve as a bureaucratic middleman for basic projects,” he said. 
“I am proud to join with Sen. Lee and offer modern reforms to our nation’s transportation policy through the Transportation Empowerment Act. Giving states the flexibility to tackle their own infrastructure needs will lower costs while improving responsiveness to the problems unique to each community.”
The problem, of course, is that the Highway Trust System is broken because Republicans have consistently attacked transportation funding. And now they have the balls to wonder why it’s insolvent? 

Transportation funding is set to expire at the end of the month, and Congress is trying to figure out how to cover a $16 billion shortfall. So these morons want to completely eliminate funding altogether – an idea that’s been opposed by both parties in the past.

Additionally, it’s a little screwy that DeSantis wants to hand over the responsibility of taking care of roads and such to the states, considering that his state of Florida almost shut down over a debate about the budget.

So here’s the plan, if we’re going to speculate: block federal funding for roads and bridges at the federal level; defund fixing and building roads by lowering the gas tax (because who doesn’t like lower taxes and cheaper gas); hand over the responsibility of the roads and bridges to the states.

What could possibly go wrong? Privatization could go wrong – and it’s already been proposed. John Mica (R-FL) proposed privatizing roads as a way to “save money.”

It’s just another sleight of hand to shuffle money to corporate donors who will do little to fix things and everything to monetize it. If something like this comes to pass, we’ll be driving on pothole-riddled roads and paying huge fees in the form of tolls for the privilege to do so.

Richard Zombeck is a freelance writer & featured blogger at Huffington Post. He’s much older and angrier than he looks. He’s got a Website,Twitter ac