Posted by: Debby Durkee | April 19, 2010

Coercing people out of cars.

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Coercing people out of cars.

I think we’ll soon have to generate a new definition of insanity, one specific to the Obama Administration. One definition of insanity is “extreme foolishness.” One synonym is “lunacy” which in turn means “derangement relieved intermittently by periods of clear-mindedness.” Insanity might even become synonymous with the presidency of Barack H. Obama. Here’s just the latest incidence of what sure seems to be “extreme foolishness” in government. This is from Matt Purple of The American Spectator.

At a National Press Club event last year, a panel moderator decided to quiz Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood on his department’s policy. “Some in the highway-supporters motorist groups have been concerned by your livability initiative,” he said. “Is this an effort to make driving more torturous and to coerce people out of their cars?”      

“It is a way to coerce people out of their cars,” answered LaHood, with a blunt frankness rare for a politician.

the Department of Transportation is sticking its nose into everyone’s lives. DOT has teamed up with the Environmental Protection Agency and Housing and Urban Development to create the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. Their actual purpose is somewhat foggy and loaded with Orwellian language — something about creating more “livable” and “healthy” environments. As transportation goes, that means creating more “choices” for commuters: the choice to leave your car at home and take the train, for example. Or ride your bike. Or walk.

…The core of the president’s progressive agenda is to fundamentally change in the way we move from one point to another.  Snip –

… Much of this attention is thanks to LaHood’s fiery crusades against Toyota, but that’s not the whole picture. Obama wants a major shift in transportation policy and LaHood is overseeing it.

As LaHood wrote not long ago, “Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.”

Perhaps LaHood’s most important responsibility so far has been the awarding of $1.5 billion in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. Recipients were supposed to be transportation projects that “will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area or a region.” … One was a $23 million grant for a bike path through Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. Many more went to rail projects. Others were aimed at green bugaboos and had little to do with transportation at all…

In Obama’s America, seen through a dreamy progressive lens, just as many people travel on trains and bicycles as in cars…  Snip –

Under the new rules, car companies must have a fleet average of 35.5 miles a gallon by 2016 — up from an average 27.5 miles per gallon today… Automakers’ only real solution is to put popular truck and SUV models — like the 14 mpg Ford F-150 — on the chopping block and invest more in hybrid cars.

Previously, these regulations have been run through Congress. But after a Supreme Court ruling gave the executive branch unilateral authority to enforce the Clean Air Act, the EPA and DOT can pretty much do whatever they want.

… Rep. James Oberstar, has introduced a bill that would essentially federalize the nation’s entire transportation network. Called the Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009….

the bill has the federal government gobbling up transportation power from the states and forcing them to meet certain benchmarks. States are essentially coerced to make sure their transportation networks are environmentally friendly and include plenty of rail lines and buses. How bad is it? The bill actually requires the DOT to create an U.S. Bicycle Route System similar to our interstate highways. Yes, the progressive Oberstar actually imagines a day when so many people will travel by bicycle that we’ll need transcontinental bike paths. I believe there’s a word for that: “China”.

… The entire bill would cost an estimated $500 billion over six years, which would require a 112% increase in the federal gas tax.   Snip –

This is the vision of the Obama Administration: shifting from the all-American car to glorified 19th-century technology. One Republican congressman informed of LaHood’s cycling priorities recently wondered if the DOT head was on drugs…

This is just another power grab by Obama and company and a way to control YOU. There’s nothing more symbolic of America’s freedom than a car on the open road, and this president would like nothing more than to herd you into cattle cars and take away your ability to drive a car and go anywhere in the country at anytime you want. There will be so much for Republicans/conservatives and the next president to undo once they attain power, that it will take a great deal of effort just to keep track of everything that will need to be rolled back. Read it all here:

http://spectator.org/archives/2010/04/19/lahood-gives-the-green-light

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