“Path to Prosperity” or “Road to Ruin”? Either Way, the House Says Yes

By a vote of 235 to 193, the House approved the GOP budget proposal for 2012, which cuts $6.2 trillion more from the budget over 10 years than President Obama’s proposal. A big portion of that bite comes out of transportation. Compared to Obama’s plan, it spends $633 billion less for transportation.

House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan. Photo: WSJ

House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) calls the proposal “The Path to Prosperity” but Democrats have been deriding it as “The Road to Ruin.” House Transportation Committee Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-WV) says it would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs.

It makes Big Oil smile from ear to ear knowing that they can exploit $40 billion in tax loopholes, yet the Budget completely neglects millions of American potholes.

He said that according to the CBO numbers, the current funding for transportation form the Highway Trust Fund is $316 billion, with another $15 billion from the general fund. The Republican budget would cut that amount by nearly a third, providing only $219 billion of Highway Trust Fund funding over the next six years.

Rahall couldn’t help but mention that China spends nine percent of its GDP per year on infrastructure and India spends five percent.

Yet, the United States of America only spends 1.9 percent of its GDP per year on infrastructure. Woefully inadequate as it stands. Yet, the Republican Budget cuts highway, highway safety, and transit investment by about one-third: one-third less bridge repair, one-third less safety improvement, and one-third less bus service is where this Budget leads us – destroying family-wage highway and transit construction jobs all along the way. And placing us in an even less competitive position than we already are against countries like China and India. Incredible. Simply incredible.

U.S. PIRG’s federal transportation associate, Dan Smith, said high gas prices, high unemployment, and serious traffic congestion make this budget the wrong solution.

Chairman Ryan claims to only consolidate ‘duplicative’ funding, but aggressively cuts vital programs. Just because funding for a $50 million bridge repair project is divided between two programs does not mean that combining the programs will get the same bridge fixed for $25 million. As Budget Committee chair, Representative Ryan should know that one plus one still equals two.