McCain shares transport views with NIT League
• Obama reinforces commitment to infrastructure
Republican presidential candidate John McCain offered few new ideas or a vision for the nation’s transportation infrastructure in his response to the National Industrial Transportation League’s request for the campaigns to lay out their positions on the subject.
The NIT League on Friday posted on its Web site a letter from the McCain campaign, which essentially repeated well-known problems with underfunding for deteriorating transportation systems. The letter’s main focus was on stopping wasteful government spending in the next highway bill.
The current multiyear surface transportation authorization bill “was justifiably recognized as a bloated, pork barrel monstrosity that relegated merit-based allocation of scarce resources to the dust bin. Even when the bill authorized innovative freight funding programs, it then earmarked all the money available for pet projects,” the campaign’s letter said.
Congress will consider a new surface transportation blueprint to replace the existing authorization that expires at the end of September 2009.
“Whatever our appetite may be for a larger federal surface transportation funding program may be, we will need to find agreement on how to pay for it, because the existing gas tax has shown that it, by itself, is incapable of carrying that burden without changes to the system. Those who advocate spending hundreds of billions of new dollars without saying where those funds are coming from are not being honest with the American people,” the McCain campaign said.
In his response to the NIT League, Democratic opponent Barack Obama said rebuilding infrastructure is a top national priority.