GOP Can’t Help Being Hypocritical on, Well, Everything
The GOP is bashing the President after his appearance yesterday at the TZ Bridge calling for $300+ billion in new infrastructure investments.
“We’re cutting bureaucratic red tape that stalls good projects from breaking ground,” Obama said, to cheers from the crowd.
The changes will help speed up mega-projects at Boston’s South Station, the Pensacola Bay Bridge, and light-rail construction north and south of Seattle, Obama said.
“All these steps we can do without Congress,” said Obama, who recently pledged to work with Congress when possible, but act on his own when necessary to sidestep the gridlock that’s hampered much of his agenda.
The changes also mean “good jobs” in the construction industry, which was hard hit when the housing market plummeted at the height of the economic crash.
He insisted that infrastructure expansion should be bipartisan, but took a few shots at Republicans - who have shown little enthusiasm for the plan - for pushing tax cuts on the wealthy instead of “rebuilding America.”
“They show up at ribbon-cuttings for projects that they refused to fund,” he said.
Republicans contended Obama was hypocritical for claiming credit for the expedited process while he has yet to decide the fate of a proposed Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline.
The GOP is using that up-in-the-air project to bash Democrats ahead of the November elections.
“It’s a real challenge to listen to the president talk about reforming the permitting system when he’s been sitting on the permit for the country’s largest shovel-ready infrastructure program, the Keystone XL pipeline, for five years,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The GOP regularly complain that Obama is sitting on Keystone pipeline approvals. What the GOP seems to completely ignore is that the Keystone project is a privately owned piece of infrastructure, the value of which is uncertain, is not likely to create the jobs claimed, and whose integrity is questionable given the company’s history.
In other words, Keystone is a private project of dubious merit, but which will benefit the privately owned company should the project get green lit, and yet the costs to local communities will be high should the pipeline leak or explode (as they have in several recent high profile incidents).
Rebuilding roads, bridges, and mass transit are publicly owned infrastructure in dire need of replacement, maintenance, and upgrades. There is a huge backlog of critical projects that require upgrades. Roads and bridges are the flashy part, but everything from an aging railroad network to building new and improved sewage systems that no longer divert raw sewage into waterways with rainfall need funding badly.
They are separate and distinct issues, but that wont keep the GOP from making the false analogy.
Topping that off, the GOP continues to refuse to increase taxes or fees to cover the needed improvements, even if they’re use taxes that directly fund those items. This shows how unserious the GOP is about the nation’s infrastructure and economic health.
Oh, and another thing about the GOP. While Obama has been in office, they’ve been making the claim that cutting the deficit (the long term debt) is paramount, but already GOP contenders for 2016 are suggesting that they’ll put up new spending without any cuts or tax hikes - pushing the debt even higher. It’s another sign of just how fiscally irresponsible the GOP is to say nothing of how the GOP holds a double standard on funding government operations, especially when a Democrat is in the White House.
Mind you that a high national debt to GNP is worrying, but it’s not one that should foist austerity on the economy, which is one of the reasons that the economic recovery since the 2007-2009 economic crisis has been so tepid. National debt to fund infrastructure is one that would pay off with long term economic benefits, unlike say providing tax cuts to certain businesses or tax cuts to the wealthiest of Americans. But the GOP is in the thrall of voodoo economics, and it’s something that wont be solved easily