Saturday, May 14, 2005

Trust Fund an Oxymoron...

In addition to the Social Security Trust Fund, we also have a Federal Transportation Trust Fund managed by our beloved representatives in Washington DC. Mike Hubbell of The Deep Freeze points us to the Porker of the Month.

Citizens Against Government Waste have named Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) "Porker of the Month" for May 2005. Grassley as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee has managed to add an $11 billion amendment to the $284 billion transportation bill passed by the House in March. Included in this amendment was over $8 million for pet projects in his home state of Iowa.

John Tierney comments on both trust funds in an Op-Ed in today's New York Times.

This addition to the nation's transportation infrastructure is the brainchild of Representative Rick Boucher, a Democrat from the southwestern Virginia mountains that Daniel Boone traversed on the way to Kentucky. Mr. Boucher secured $750,000 of highway money for the "construction of horse trails and assorted facilities" in Jefferson National Forest.

When I expressed doubts to Mr. Boucher that these new horse trails would ease traffic on the roads, he replied, "That's fair to say." He didn't expect any commuters to use them. But he insisted this really wasn't an unusual use of money from the highway trust fund, and he had a point.

We also have transportation taxes here in California for the specific purpose of building and maintaining our highways. Here in San Diego, voters agreed to pay an additional half-cent sales tax to fund local transportation infrastructure. Considering the fact that San Diego is a planned city, and the city managers throughout the year have dictated the location and density for almost all residential, commercial, and industrial areas; I wonder why there would ever be traffic problems.

I guess that's one of the mysteries of life.


Blogger Mike said...

Thanks for the honorable mention!

5:56 PM  

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