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Keyword: spending

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  • The Black Budget: Republicans Love Tax Cuts, But Love Spending Even More.

    10/16/2017 9:40:17 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 15 replies
    National Review ^ | 10/16/2017 | Kevin Williamson
    Diane Black’s political problem — conservatives’ political problem — is America’s political problem: Tax cuts are popular, and spending cuts are not. Representative Black (R., Tenn.) has been chairman of the House Budget Committee for about a year, and she’s enjoyed the experience so much that she’s . . . trying to get the hell out of Washington, hoping to head to Nashville as Tennessee’s next governor. (She declined to comment on the gubernatorial race.) It is difficult to blame her for not wanting to cling to that gavel: Running the House Budget Committee is kind of a stupid job....
  • Tolls would be required for Larson’s ‘big dig’

    10/16/2017 12:11:34 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    The Manchester Journal Inquirer ^ | September 21, 2017 | Kym Soper
    Connecticut abolished tollbooths more than 30 years ago, and every attempt to reinstate them since has been blown out of the water. But that would have to change, says U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, D-1st District, should his proposed underground highway system in Hartford become reality. For the last eight months Larson has talked to nearly every civic group, news editorial board, local business, municipal government, state agency, and federal office, trying to drum up support for his proposed $10 billion “big dig” project. So far, support has been hit or miss for the plan that would sink interstates 84...
  • How to Make Private Investment in Infrastructure Really Work

    10/15/2017 10:58:14 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 2 replies
    Citylab ^ | October 9, 2017 | William Murray
    During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump—like his opponent Hillary Clinton—spoke glowingly about infrastructure spending, alluding to Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration and Dwight Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System as examples of how spending on roads, bridges and airports helped unite the country. For 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers has given America’s infrastructure an overall grade of D+, estimating it would cost more than $4 trillion to upgrade properly. But President Trump’s $1 trillion dollar, 10-year infrastructure plan has so far moved along at a halting pace. This tortoise-like process may offer an opportunity to think more strategically about...
  • $4.4 Billion Bay Area Transportation Plan — to Be Paid for by Higher Bridge Tolls — Sent to Governor

    10/15/2017 8:12:43 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 32 replies
    KQED ^ | September 15, 2017 | Dan Brekke
    If you live in the Bay Area, you’ll be hearing a lot about Senate Bill 595 over the next year or so. If you’re a regular user of any of the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges — that’s all of them, except the Golden Gate Bridge — you’ll want to pay close attention. SB 595, which won final passage Thursday and now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, provides for a vote in the nine Bay Area counties next year to raise bridge tolls by as much as $3. If the Bay Area Toll Authority, the agency that oversees the bridges,...
  • Driving Toward a New Highway Federalism

    10/15/2017 7:16:52 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 11 replies
    Inside Sources ^ | September 22, 2017 | Robert Krol
    The Trump administration is developing principles that will guide future highway funding. At a recent White House meeting with state transportation officials, the administration announced it was considering shifting greater funding responsibilities to the states. Along with expanding the private sector’s role and loosening tolling restrictions, these reforms will result in better decisions and management of the transportation system. It makes sense for Congress to support these transportation policy reforms. Ted Mann of the Wall Street Journal recently reported that the administration is thinking about reducing the share of federal dollars that fund highway construction. Rather than receiving the usual...
  • Yellowstone supervolcano could blow faster than thought, destroy all of mankind

    10/12/2017 1:32:37 PM PDT · by Sopater · 123 replies
    foxnews ^ | 10/12/2017
    Arizona State University researchers have analyzed minerals around the supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park and have come to a startling conclusion. It could blow much faster than previously expected, potentially wiping out life as we know it.
  • Texas' Toll Roads: A Big Step Towards Open Markets For Transportation

    10/10/2017 8:10:17 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 96 replies
    Forbes ^ | June 30, 2017 | Scott Beyer
    No city in America runs on anything resembling a free-market model. But Texas' major cities are probably the closest thing, with vast improvements to their economies and living standards to show for it. Their looser land-use laws mean that housing supply grows quickly, stabilizing prices. Their lighter tax and regulatory structure helps businesses locate there and grow. And—shenanigans from the governor's office notwithstanding—their openness to immigrants means they have cheap and robust labor forces.But one market-oriented aspect little discussed is Texas' approach to transportation. The state has 25 toll roads, more than any other state. They are particularly common in Houston and Dallas,...
  • New Texas 130 owners to make $60 million in repairs to bumpy road

    10/10/2017 5:46:43 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 16 replies
    The Austin American-Statesman ^ | September 20, 2017 | Ben Wear
    The southern, privately built section of Texas 130, which has been an obstacle course of bumps and cracks since shortly after its October 2012 opening, will see $60 million of pavement repairs over the next year in 35 spots between Mustang Ridge and Seguin. Crews in many cases will be removing five feet or more of the road’s “sub-base,” the treated and compacted soil layers that underlie the highway’s asphalt driving surface, replacing it with soil with different, stronger properties, and then repaving those rehabilitated sections. Some repairs will also include installation of impermeable layers of soil alongside the road...
  • A $9 Billion Highway That Promises to Pay for Itself

    10/10/2017 5:17:00 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 35 replies
    Citylab ^ | September 26, 2017 | Andrew Zaleski
    Last Thursday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan unveiled a $9 billion project to widen three of the state’s most heavily trafficked highways: I-270, I-495—also known as the Capital Beltway—and MD-295, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. What the governor’s office dubbed the Traffic Relief Plan involves constructing two express toll lanes each way—or four total toll lanes—to all three highways. Widening the Capital Beltway and the section of I-270 connecting the growing commuter-city of Frederick to Washington, D.C., would cost an estimated $7.6 billion, which the state expects to be financed via public-private partnerships: Private companies would build and maintain the new toll lanes,...
  • Unlocking billions of dollars of infrastructure funding capacity

    09/28/2017 5:32:33 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 16 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | September 13, 2017 | Charles "Skip" Stitt
    The nation’s approach to managing public infrastructure is often inefficient. Best practices, such as life-cycle asset management and preventive maintenance, are rarely a priority. We can, however, unlock billions of dollars of infrastructure funding capacity now trapped in existing assets by improving how we build, operate and finance infrastructure. While experts discuss the size and urgency of our infrastructure needs, the debates focus on how to pay for new infrastructure. The Trump administration has identified public-private partnerships (P3) as a primary strategy. A majority of states and D.C. have statutes allowing P3s. Other countries have also adopted P3s as a...
  • Trump's Infrastructure Plan Is Actually Pence's—And It's All About Privatization

    09/28/2017 4:28:56 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies
    Newsweek ^ | September 4, 2017 | Lydia O'Neal and David Sirota
    President Donald Trump’s $1 trillion plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure may be unprecedented in size and ambition, but it mimics a controversial scheme championed by Vice President Mike Pence when he was the governor of Indiana. That’s why Pence is the public face of the Trump initiative, and executives from financial firms that helped privatize Indiana’s toll road are in the White House, busily sculpting Trump’s national plan. Pence and his allies like to boast about how Indiana sold control of major roads to private firms, claiming the move prompted corporations to invest money in infrastructure that would otherwise have...
  • Tollway board OKs Tri-State widening over objections from some suburbs

    09/27/2017 2:06:08 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    The Chicago Daily Herald ^ | April 28, 2017 | Marni Pyke
    Amid a chorus of support from gridlock-weary drivers and the construction industry, Illinois tollway directors approved widening the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Thursday. Officials promised no toll increases but about $120 million for the $4 billion project will come from new fees to be imposed on I-PASS holders when they don't use transponders. A concept plan includes extra lanes, a "Flex Lane" for express buses, and highway interchange improvements at bottlenecks between Rosemont and Oak Lawn. "This is a first step," Chairman Robert Schilerstrom said. "We'll be reaching out to the communities. We're very interested in listening to their input...
  • Uncertainty over Trump infrastructure plan jeopardizes transit projects, jobs

    09/22/2017 10:14:35 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 16 replies
    The Chicago Tribune ^ | June 9, 2017 | Damian Paletta and Mike Debonis (WaPost)
    Dozens of public transit projects around the country are in danger of stalling as the White House's plan to boost U.S. infrastructure fails to gain momentum - with thousands of jobs at risk. The uncertainty over these projects has worsened in recent days as President Donald Trump - who had vowed to make the week's focus infrastructure - faced a series of distractions, including a congressional hearing featuring former FBI director James Comey. The president, who had called for $1 trillion in new infrastructure programs to create millions of jobs, now faces an increasing probability that not only will his...
  • Transportation Funding: Why It’s Still Toll Roads Versus Public Transit

    09/21/2017 11:08:05 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    EfficientGov ^ | September 20, 2017 | Andrea Fox
    Is fighting sprawl still a goal for those who decide the fate of transportation funding at the federal, state and local levels?Transportation planning is deeply connected to economic development, but there in any agreement about transportation funding among government leaders often ends.Parag Khanna, a senior public policy analyst in Singapore and author of “Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization,” summarized the political divide over transportation planning like this: “America is increasingly divided not between red states and blue states, but between connected hubs and disconnected backwaters.”But division that stymies transportation planning goes further. Government leaders have always been divided...
  • The Federal Reserve is setting America up for economic disaster

    09/19/2017 7:24:05 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 75 replies
    The Hill ^ | September 18, 2017 | Armstrong Williams
    I recently had the opportunity to read "The Creature from Jekyll Island" by G. Edward Griffin, a prodigious tome dealing with the circumstances surrounding the creation of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. I was taken aback by some of its provocative assertions. America joined World War I largely to help a few bankers profit off the war (despite a long-standing Monroe doctrine that prohibited our involvement in European affairs) The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 was supported by international financial interests in order to destabilize Russia and steal the wealth of the Russian people; and So-called "foreign aid" is merely a...
  • PA's first diverging diamond interchange finished

    09/16/2017 1:04:21 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 56 replies
    ConstructionDIVE ^ | August 24, 2017 | Kim Slowey
    Dive Brief: The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has announced the completion of the state's first-ever diverging diamond interchange (DDI), located on Interstate 70, according to Equipment World. The DDI design eliminates left turns across oncoming traffic, improving vehicle flow and decreasing the chance of accidents. The agency also chose the DDI configuration because it could use the former interchange's cloverleaf footprint, reducing the impact of construction on the area. PennDOT said it modified the traditional DDI design slightly. Dive Insight: Design is one way transportation agencies are combating gridlock resulting from increased traffic. Other tools in DOT arsenals are...
  • How to pay for billion-dollar I-10 Bridge as Alabama turns to private sector

    09/15/2017 12:13:36 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies
    AL.com ^ | August 28, 2017 | John Sharp
    With public funding options limited, Alabama transportation officials are turning to the private sector for advice and creative solutions in paying for the massive Interstate 10 overhaul in coastal Alabama.John Cooper, director of the Alabama Department of Transportation, said Monday that state officials were interested in learning more about project plans from approximately 400 private sector attendees during the two-day Industry Forum at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center.That includes financing, which remains the biggest hurdle toward moving the project forward in the next year. At this point, no options have been settled including whether to institute tolls to...
  • Time for a New Budget Process: Tiered Spending -- How to avoid being bullied over gov't shutdowns

    09/15/2017 8:29:15 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 6 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 09/15/2017 | Mike Razar
    t is high time that conservatives reform the budget process.[i] In theory, Congress should prioritize expenditures to achieve the greatest public good with the available funds taxpayers and lenders provide. But in practice, not only are tradeoffs not made, there is no visible mechanism for identifying levels of priority. The absence of such an analytical tool seems to have bullied President Trump into an unnecessary fear of defaulting on the debt. So much so that he has made a devil’s deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Doesn’t he know that they hate him and want him to fail or...
  • PA Turnpike Commission Approves Six Percent Toll Increase for 2018

    09/14/2017 4:13:34 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 23 replies
    Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission ^ | July 18, 2017 | Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
    HARRISBURG, PA. (July 18, 2017) — At its bimonthly meeting today, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) approved a six percent toll increase for both E-ZPass and cash customers; the increase is set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 7, 2018. Because of today’s action, the most common toll for a passenger vehicle will increase next year from $1.23 to $1.30 for E-ZPass customers and from $1.95 to $2.10 for cash customers. The most common toll for a Class-5 vehicle — a prevalent tractor-trailer class — will increase from $10.17 to 10.78 for E-ZPass and from $14.45 to $15.35...
  • Get Rid Of Debt Ceiling? Not So Fast, Spending Controls Have To Be in Place

    09/11/2017 11:01:00 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 9 replies
    IBD ^ | 09/10/2017
    In his surprise deal with the Democrats to raise the debt ceiling last week, President Trump went one step further: He proposed getting rid of the debt ceiling entirely. It's not a bad idea, but only if you control future spending. "The president encouraged congressional leaders to find a more permanent solution to the debt ceiling so the vote is not so frequently politicized," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Her comments came as the Senate voted 80 to 17 to approve the deal that would raise the debt ceiling and keep the government running until Dec. 8,...