As everyone is aware, the climate out of DC has definitely changed. No, this is not the result of CO2, methane or any of the myriad other greenhouse gases we continue to spew into our atmosphere; that’s a DIFFERENT kind of hot air. No, I’m talking about our newly minted President, Donald J. Trump (henceforth referred to as DJT.) Barely two months into his tenure at the White House, DJT has already alienated many of our allies, undone years of environmental progress, and (assisted by his Republican Congress) stated to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
Now he’s released his budget. With the exception of the military, pretty much every other facet of government will have drastic cuts to their budget. Since this blog is about transportation, let’s focus in on that area.
You will recall that during his campaign, DJT emphasized the need to repair, replace and maintain the nation’s infrastructure. However, his proposed budget shows no sign of that thinking. According to The Hill, he’d like to cut the DOT budget by 13%. His budget eliminated the TIGER grants and TIF funding that many states, cities and locales have relied upon to develop alternative transportation infrastructure. Furthermore, it eliminates funding for Amtrak and for the Essential Air Service program, both of which are vital to small rural towns and areas. Guess the only infrastructure he’s really interested in is a wall between the US and Mexico. Yeah, I know he said that Mexico will pay for the wall, but what DJT isn’t telling you is that that payment will come in the form of tariffs on Mexican goods, which translates into higher costs for those producers who will understandably pass on those costs to us, the consumer. So who’s REALLY paying for that wall?
The good news is this is a budget proposal. It has to be passed by Congress before it becomes a fact. And while some within his own party are saying “No” right now, the vote isn’t actually being taken yet. Let your legislators in DC know where you stand. Tell them what you want. If we work together, we just may win. But if we stand quietly, we most assuredly lose.