Congress just passed another Highway Bill (H.R. 3) and it is full of both waste and pet projects, as always.
The Federal Highway system was formed in 1956. The system had one purpose, to allow our military to respond quickly and efficiently to any invasion. If either Mexico or Canada decides to invade us, I can guarantee that our Highway system is adequate to allow our military to respond quickly and efficiently.
When the Congress agreed that it was time to build this infrastructure in 1956 it stipulated that it had to be paid for as it was built. This certainly makes sense t0 me.
That is no longer the case. Our annual budget deficit is currently projected to be 333 billion dollars if you assume that the Social Security Surplus will be spent again, rather then saved (Which it will, they always spend it). We need to cut Federal spending. This Highway Bill is another huge increase in Federal spending.
Here is an idea, let the fifty states build the projects they want to build. The Highway system has long since been completed; let's get The Federal government out of the highway system entirely.
Currently the Federal gas tax is collected in all 50 states. It is sent to the Federal government. The Federal government (Congress in this case) then splits the money up and sends it back to the fifty states for various projects. This is a very wasteful and corrupt system. The states get money back depending on how powerful their politicians are, specifically what committees they sit on. Not all of the money goes back to the states either, some of it is wasted and spent by the beauracracy. What a joke.
The first Highway Bill had two earmarks in 1956. Earmarks are pet projects that various politicians put in the bill to help them get re-elected the following election cycle. By 1982 we were up to 10 earmarks, this Highway Bill has 6371 earmarks! These 6371 earmarks account for 24 BILLION dollars of pet projects. Please stop telling me The Republicans are fiscal conservatives! They are big spending liberals as far as I am concerned. Here are some examples of what these supposed "Fiscal Conservatives" just agreed to in H.R. 3:
The bill includes $230 million for the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere,” now renamed “Don Young’s Way,” connecting Gravina Island (population: 50) with the Alaskan mainland. This Bridge will now be named after the elected politician who has secured all of this pork for Alaska.
A more complete list of earmarks can be found at:
Please contact your politicians and ask them to address this wasteful spending!
We can elect better officials!