President Bush dismissed Thursday raising the federal gasoline tax to repair the nation’s bridges at least until Congress changes the way it spends highway money.The President is completely accurate on this matter.
“The way it seems to have worked is that each member on that (Transportation) committee gets to set his or her own priorities first,” Bush said. “That’s not the right way to prioritize the people’s money. Before we raise taxes, which could affect economic growth, I would strongly urge the Congress to examine how they set priorities.”
If one were to look at the location of and amounts spent on transportation and infrastucture construction in congressional districts, you would find a very, very high correlation to the membership of the Committees. The prioritization of projects is very much similar to the earmarking issue as well. Members on transportation committees take care of themselves and their consitutents first. While I have no problems with Congressmen bringing home the bacon so long as they are above board about it, those tasks should be last on the list of priorities.
The sad thing is that it has taken the deaths of Americans for us to come to the conclusion that the way Congress does business is not about the American people first, but about politicians first.