A Sign That Our Government Has Become Distracted
Take every pothole that you hit and bridge that you tremble to cross as a reminder of how misplaced the priorities of the state and federal governments have become:
In the supplemental budget Governor Carcieri sent to the legislature, he proposed reducing the DOT budget by $74.3 million. The House Finance Committee recommended cutting slightly more than $5 million more, leaving the DOT with $409.4 million. The House is scheduled to vote on the supplemental budget this week. …
The state puts no more money into its bridge and highway programs than the 20 percent required to match federal aid for projects, and it borrows that matching money. Shawver said the state has known its highway aid would be held up for months. Congress hasn’t approved a replacement for the country’s main highway legislation, making funding unpredictable, he said.
Road repairs aren’t as politically valuable as big giveaways, in part because everybody already expects them, leaving no advantage to being the politician who made them happen. Then, when they’re clearly deficient, the blame is diffuse, both in its origin among the people and in its targets.