President Bush is signing a whopping $286.4 billion transportation bill that lawmakers stuffed with plenty of cash for some 6,000 pet projects back home.
Bush hit the road Wednesday to sign the highway bill into law in Montgomery, Ill., and tour a Chicago-area plant operated by Caterpillar Inc., which makes heavy equipment. It was the second time this week he’s traveled from his Texas ranch to highlight recently passed legislation.
The House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass the six-year highway and mass transit legislation just before heading home for a summer break. They left Washington carrying promises of new highway and bridge projects, rail and bus facilities, and bike paths and recreational trails they secured for their states and districts.
Bush had threatened to veto the bill if the final version was too fat for his liking, and it took nearly two years for Congress to reach a compromise the White House would accept.
”There were a number of members of Congress who wanted a $400 billion highway bill,” Al Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council at the White House, said Tuesday in defending the president’s decision to accept the bill even though it was $30 billion more than Bush recommended.
”Because of this president, it is a $286 billion highway bill,” he told reporters at a briefing following Bush’s meeting with his economic team.
Once again, the ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ rules the day.
“Hey- it could have been a $400 billion bill, but we pared it down to below $300 billion.”
“Hey- we thought the deficit was going to be $450 billion, and it turnsout theeconomy is so good it is only $300 billion.”
This whole line of thought reminds me of an old Cheech and Chong routine:
“I used to smoke [rasp] 20 packs [rasp] of cigarettes [rasp] a day [rasp]. But now that I [rasp] lost a lung [rasp], I cut my smoking [rasp] in half.”
Just go read CAGW’s write-up before my head explodes.