During Thursday morning’s news conference, President Bush drew a line in the sand of sorts. Though he didn’t use Rep. Oberstar’s name, President Bush told Rep. Oberstar that his gas tax increase was DOA should it even reach his desk.

“The way it seems to have worked is that each member on that (Transportation) committee gets to set his or her own priorities first,” Bush said. “That’s not the right way to prioritize the people’s money. Before we raise taxes, which could affect economic growth, I would strongly urge the Congress to examine how they set priorities.”

Talk about not pulling punches. OUCH. That’s a definite shot across the House Transportation Committee’s bow. These congressmen rule the Transportation budget in much the same way that John Murtha rules over the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. These politicians rule over it like it’s their private kingdom where they have all the power. Crafting great transportation policy isn’t their main concern. Getting re-elected is.

About $24 billion, or 8 percent of the last $286 billion highway bill, was devoted to highway and bridge projects singled out by lawmakers. The balance is distributed through grants to states, which decide how it will be spent. Federal money accounts for about 45 percent of all infrastructure spending.

I’d love to see which areas got the most earmark money and which ones got the least. Generally speaking, I’ll bet that Republicans will get less than Democrats this year. I’ll also bet that the Republicans that behave like Democrats will get far more earmarks than will reform-minded conservatives.

The Democratic chairman of the House Transportation Committee proposed a 5-cent increase in the 18.3 cents-a-gallon federal gasoline tax to establish a new trust fund for repairing or replacing structurally deficient highway bridges.

Until these politicians reprioritize the Transportation budget, taxpayers should tell these politicians that their voting for a gas tax increase guarantees a campaign contribution for their opponent. It’s time that these autocrats realized that we’re mad as hell and that we won’t take it anymore. It’s high time that they understood that they can’t get away with the things that they did a decade ago.

These politicians are essentially in denial after we blew their little kingdoms to smithereens during the amnesty immigration debate. They don’t want to admit that We The People will exert our will anytime that they don’t heed our demands. When they refused to listen to us during the amnesty immigration debate, we filled the politicians’ inboxes and melted down their switchboards.

It will likely take a few more of those types of responses but we will eventually get their attention. President Bush doesn’t need a few more shots across their bow, though, to get their attention. I’d bet that Thursday morning’s news conference got their undivided attention.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

One Response to “Bush to Oberstar: No Tax Increases”

  • You might take a lesson in how earmarks are approved in the federal transportation bill. The bill gets authorized every six years. Your Republicans, former Chairman Don Young (R-AK) approved all those earmarks, not the Democrats.

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