SEARCH BLOG: TRANSPORTATION.
When it comes to "problem solving" and "thinking big," the professional politician has one fallback position: "invest in transportation." The American dream has always been to get there from here. "Getting there" wasn't always a journey in a vehicle. It mostly meant a journey of personal growth and wealth. But now it seems that the once grand dream has been reduced to a daydream of mass transportation and electric vehicles.
A few days ago, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited Detroit, Michigan bearing a gift of $25 million dollars to help build an "M-1" mass transit system estimated to cost $140 million [before waste and corruption] for just over ... three miles. Well, in Detroit, three miles is about all you want to go... in the city. Mostly you want to go about 20 miles... out of the city. Besides, Detroit's last mass transit effort was pretty much a flop. That could be because all of those "masses" left the city which once held 2-1/2 times as many people.
Let's put that "mass transit" project in perspective:
A few days before that, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder gave his State of the State address and slipped in a message that he thought some new taxes to raise $1.2 billion or so each year for roads and bridges would be a good "problem solving" exercise for Michigan.
And President Obama, in his inaugural speech, thought that "investment" in transportation would get us to where we wanted to go. It solves unemployment, deficits, and a myriad other problems like really bad fiscal management.
Now the only problem left is to get people to travel again. So many roads... so little money for gas.
We all like good roads, but we'd like a nation that can afford those good roads, too. Maxing out another national credit card may not be the best approach.