The next time a lefty claims that the greedy Republicans in Washington are starving our nation’s infrastructure, look no further than the Democrats in Sacramento. California is a one-party state in which Democrats can do almost anything they want. Fourth-term Governor Jerry Brown and his party are claiming credit for a massive budget surplus, and plotting ways to spend the loot. Yet Brown’s revised budget claims that there is not enough money to maintain the state’s highways.
There is money for a high-speed rail system that no one will ride. There is money for tuition for illegal aliens at state universities. There is money for the public sector unions that control state politics.
But “current resources do not provide enough funding to support annual maintenance and repair needs” for the roads, even though “the repair, maintenance, and efficient operation of the state’s highway system is vital to California’s continued economic growth.”
To put it in Democrats’ favorite terms: how many people will die needlessly because Democrats in California refused to spend the money to make our roads safe?
That is how the left frames Republican opposition to Obamacare–a failing program that cut millions off from their health insurance, and whose insurance exchanges are already beginning to implode. That is how the left frames the Amtrak disaster earlier this week, blaming Republicans for holding back funds.
Kudos to Speaker of the House John Boehner, who chastised the media for following Democrats down that morbid line of questioning:
Are you really going to ask such a stupid question? Listen, you know they started this yesterday: “It’s all about funding, It’s all about funding.” Well, obviously, it’s not about funding. The train was going twice the speed limit. Adequate funds were there. No money’s been cut from rail safety, and the house passed a bill earlier this spring to re-authorize Amtrak and authorize a lot of these programs. It’s hard for me to imagine that people take the bait on some of the nonsense that gets spewed around here. Thanks.
Boehner could have added that Republicans in Congress are acting in accord with a budget sequester that was originally proposed by President Barack Obama–no matter how many times he tries to decry it.
The Democrats in Sacramento have no excuse. There is no sequester. There is, so they say, plenty of extra money to spend.
So why is there not enough money for highway maintenance? Simple: because Democrats have chosen to spend California’s taxpayer dollars on other priorities.
Not on the state’s most urgent problems, mind you–not on any serious attempt to fix the state’s debts or its unfunded pensions liabilities. No–the money is spent on rewarding Democrat-aligned interests and constituencies. Gov. Brown has even decided there is enough money to give the poor a new check during election season.
The state has a massive poverty problem–but that is because it also has an unemployment problem, and an immigration problem. The unemployment problem can only be tackled by improving economic growth, which the budget, by its own admission, falls short of doing. And the immigration problem can only be solved by cutting off the generous incentives that Democrats keep passing to encourage illegal aliens to move here, which go beyond any reasonable definition of charity.
California Democrats won’t spend money to maintain highways because they hate roads–at least theoretically. They won’t spend money on water reservoirs because they hate dams–except for the Hetch Hetchy Dam that keeps the water flowing to San Francisco, of course. They won’t spend money on the public infrastructure the state needs to grow, thrive–and even survive. But like Nancy Pelosi, they join Democrats nationwide in blaming Republicans for the Amtrak crash.