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Archive for January 4th, 2013

Will He Really?

Re-elected House Speaker John Boehner is reportedly promising to fight President Obama over spending cuts and the debt ceiling. In order for that to happen, Boehner must not be afraid to say no and be portrayed as the cold-hearted bad buy who wants to grandma to eat dog food. He must also learn to passionately defend the virtue of self reliance and to point out the self-centered greediness of those who want fewer and fewer people to pay the freight while more and more people collect benefits. If Boehner can do that, this country will have a fighting chance. If he can’t, our current $16.4 trillion in debt is peanuts when compared with what’s to come in a country that has transformed itself into a welfare state that demonizes producers and assigns virtue to dependency. It is entirely possible to be a kind, compassionate nation that cares for its vulnerable and disabled without becoming a welfare state for the middle class and a public subsidy machine that enables crony capitalism. That is my hope for our country.

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Gov.-Elect McCrory: Triangle Rail Plan Must Meet Specific Criteria To Warrant State Funds

Carolina Journal’s Dan Way reports on comments by Gov.-Elect Pat McCrory about the potential of state funding for a rail plan in the Triangle.

Although he’s warned repeatedly that there is no new money in state government, Gov.-elect Pat McCrory said Thursday he could envision putting up a 25 percent state share of funding for a multibillion-dollar rail transit plan in the Triangle.

“If they meet the same criteria that I asked for when I was mayor of Charlotte regarding federal match, and also if they meet the ridership potential, and the right land use, I will be working with my secretary [of transportation] to support those types of efforts,” McCrory said during a news conference to name his final three cabinet secretaries.

“But regardless of where you put roads or transit, they have to meet certain criteria before they have my support, and, I assume, the support of the Department of Transportation,” McCrory said.

 

A key element of the debate could be new, less rigorous federal standards for funding, which have been proposed. Dan’s story includes comments from David Hartgen, emeritus professor of transportation studies at UNC Charlotte.

“It basically says [federal officials are] going to back off hard criteria for federal funds,” Hartgen said. “If that’s the case, then this is basically going to be a political shootout” among power players in Congress to determine who gets transit money.

Hard criteria include factors such as cost-effectiveness, local support, and economic development, with some additional consideration for items including environmental justice.

“On all of those criteria, the [Triangle] proposal does not score as well as other proposals nationally,” Hartgen said.

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