Itís a trade union thing.
The transportation bill has been popular in the past because itís a surefire way of creating jobs. Thereís just one hitch ó when it comes to mass transit, many of those jobs are unionized. And of course Republicans donít like unions.
In an editorial last year, the conservative Investorís Business Daily slammed the Obama administrationís high speed rail plan as just a payoff for its union backers ó and therefore something to oppose. ďSo who could possibly benefit from such a boondoggle? Unions, along with the politicians they vote for ó in this case Obama and California Democrats, who’ll be able to trade construction jobs and other union sop for votes.Ē
Republican opposition to mass transit, then, is just old-fashioned power politics: The friend of my enemy is my enemy. I canít say this is as innocent as the rural-urban constituent divide. Not when high speed rail investment is so clearly in the nationís interest ó a way to boost the economy, decrease our reliance on oil imports, and keep America competitive in the twenty-first century.
Photo from cliff1066 via flickr
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