April 14, 2010

A Sign That Our Government Has Become Distracted

Justin Katz

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.

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It's ironic that state government can't and won't do one of the very few functions that everyone does agree is its responsibility, while the GA wastes time and money on totalitarian micro-management of things that are not is business at all.

Posted by: BobN at April 14, 2010 7:43 AM

It's been several years since I've read Atlas Shrugged, but my recollection is that decaying infrastructure and parts shortages were some of the first impacts of the departure of the productive people.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at April 14, 2010 8:32 AM

Me: "Name one thing government does well."
(long pause)
Progressives: "The roads."

Yeah, not so much.

Posted by: Dan at April 14, 2010 8:41 AM


Posted by: Monique at April 14, 2010 12:51 PM


What're you laughing at? You're a big Scott Avedisian (union puppet) supporter because he's a Republican. HAve you ever seen how badly the roads are kept in Warwick. Your arrogance is a good way to hide your ignorance though, I'll give you that.

Posted by: Rasputin at April 15, 2010 11:10 AM