Any Excuse Is A Good Excuse To Raise Taxes For Democrats Or Alternately, No Gas Tax, No Money To Fix Your Bridge

“(B)uilding new roads and bridges is sexy — a flashy use of taxpayers’ dollars that gets attention. But, maintaining existing bridges and roads, well, that’s boring. Maybe at the “local, local” level, people care about that sort of thing, but maintaining bridges and roads doesn’t win you a lot of votes.

Maybe that’ll change — for a while — because of (the Minneapolis Bridge) tragedy. But, it’s a shame that people had to lose their lives to get us focused on making sure that the government is keeping our infrastructure sound.” — Right Wing News, August 2, 2007

After the Minneapolis Bridge disaster, the press releases were flying out at the speed of light about infrastructure. Why, the Republicans were responsible for that bridge collapse, but now that the Democrats are in charge, boy howdy, are things going to change — and honestly, you’d think that they would.

After all, improving roads and bridges is a use of taxpayer dollars that even most fiscal conservatives and little “l” Libertarians won’t balk and again, a bridge collapsed, which should be like an alarm clock going off, even for Congress. You know, “Wake up! Bridges are collapsing! Do something!” At least, that’s what most people would think.

To liberals, the whole thing was just another great excuse to raise taxes (In the Left’s defense, pretty much everything from a bridge collapse, to education, to health care, to aliens invading the United States and installing Dennis Kucinich as our leader would be a great excuse for them to raise taxes).

“The House Transportation Committee approved scaled-back bridge safety legislation Wednesday, offered grudgingly by the chairman after his plan to pay for repairs with a gas tax increase fell flat.

Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., initially proposed raising the gas tax by 5 cents a gallon to fund $25 billion worth of bridge repairs over three years, in response to the deadly collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis in August.

In the end, Oberstar offered a far more modest bill that would authorize $2 billion to fix the nation’s worst bridges, to be paid for with general funds.

The gas tax proposal was strongly opposed by the White House, congressional Republicans and even some Democrats. Neither of Minnesota’s senators, Democrat Amy Klobuchar and Republican Norm Coleman, supported it, dimming its chances for passage in that chamber.

Oberstar said his proposal – which he considered a “no-brainer” for lawmakers to pass given the Minneapolis bridge collapse – ran into a “buzz saw” in the Senate.

“They’re out there approving ambassadors and judges and treaties. But to scare the Senate, all you need to do is raise 5 cents in front of them and they run for cover,” Oberstar said. “And that’s what they did.”

Yes, the price of oil is a record high $96 a barrel and the Democrats want to raise your gas taxes. That tells you a lot about how they think.

Moreover, just to give you an idea of how puny a sum 2 billion dollars for bridge repairs is, according to Citizens Against Government Waste, Congress doled out 29 billion dollars in pork just last year.

That’s right; they had money to fund the Sparta Teapot Museum, the Animal Waste Management Research Laboratory, poultry litter composting, shrimp aquaculture research, and the National Wild Turkey Federation among thousands of other projects, but when it comes to making sure that our bridges don’t fall down, well, then they need to increase the gas tax or they just won’t be able to insure it’s properly funded.

That tells you a lot about their priorities.

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