Monday, July 11, 2011

Concerning the cover of the GOP transportation bill

Much has been said about the newly announced GOP transportation reauthorization proposal, but I don't think enough attention has been paid to the cover of their bill.

This thing.

Photobucket

It's an enormous WTF. Should be in a modern art museum even.


First a quick summary of what's inside:
-33% cut to transportation (even though as the country grows, any rational bill would increase with inflation, at least)
-Elimination of funding for pedestrian/biking and HSR
-Massive cuts to Amtrak
-"Back to the basics" 80/20 funding split between highways and transit


....so what exactly does that have to do with this?

Photobucket

A new direction? How can something be both new and "back to the basics"? How exactly does the picture of a sprawling highway interchange, one likely built 50 years ago, in anyways be new? Is the title suggesting that highways are the future? What is being changed here? Are we supposed to be impressed? This picture may have impressed America in 1948....but today?

I mean, yes, the inside of the bill is all about highways, so it makes sense to highlight that...

But why is the highway so empty?

Are highways not well used? And if not, why are we funding them? Seems like a waste? But we know that's not true, highways are always full of cars....so why on earth show a completely desolate piece of roadway?

Is it attractive? Who looks at this cover and says "yes, government should be doing THIS!" I mean, we've built plenty of attractive highways, well, bridges usually. If you want to say "this is good", why not show a modern bridge with impressive architecture and lighting? At least pick a photo with SOME color. Look at the trees, they look dead! Hell, it looks like a black and white image where someone added the blue back in, but only the blue.

Or essentially, why use a picture that looks like it was taken 65 years ago?


Or is it some kind of meta-commentary?

The bill is all about slashing spending. Anyone who follows infrastructure maintenance can tell you that this country has not been doing it's job when it comes to maintaining roads (it's easy to find stories about bridges closed do to being unsound, lanes blocked off due to erosion, etc)

So perhaps the cover is saying this:

"If you approve our bill, then our highways will look like this....because we won't be able to maintain them, and engineers will have to close them off because the overpasses are structurally unsound"

I guess that makes sense.

On the plus side, thousands of miles of (mountain) bicycles routes will be opened up. Can't let all that empty (crumbling) pavement go to waste.

3 comments:

  1. Precise description of the problem in the description of the propaganda. They are the fear they want us to feel...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well America you could get with the rest of the world and levy reasonable taxes on your most wealthy citizens including petrol (gas) rather than have the poor and middle classes subsidise thrunoff and you'll be able to pay for government programs, afford more public transport, health care and the occasional road or you can follow the republicans lead and go into default and watch your credit rating tumble. Then you'll be even worse off which is really sad because America used to be the leader but now countries like china are building high speed rail and taking the lead. Please wake up we're counting on you! A friend in Australia

    ReplyDelete
  3. Capitalist libertarians and their fetish for big government socialized freeways are totally queer for each other.

    ReplyDelete