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Why you can't trust liberals on urbanism either | Congress for the New Urbanism

Why you can't trust liberals on urbanism either

MLewyn's picture

At CNU XV, Barney Frank argued that smart growth supporters should support liberal Democrats, because Republican support for tax cuts and military spending leaves no room for smart-growth oriented programs such as public transit, HOPE VI, etc. I think this story provides some ammunition on both sides of the argument:

But see the following story from the LA Times (full story at
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-budget20jul20,0,5439437.story )

State lawmakers appeared to be closing in on a spending plan late Thursday that would divert roughly $1 billion away from mass transit, forcing Los Angeles to put off plans for extending parts of the Expo light rail line and widening some freeways.

(snip snip)

Democrats said they agreed to the big cut to transit funding in an effort to avoid having to take money away from schools and healthcare programs. Republicans justified the cut by noting that state transportation funding will continue to increase overall.

What grabbed me was the last paragraph: the Democrats wanted to cut transportation to fund public education and health.

This is why I don't think left-wingers are necessarily better than right-wingers on urbanism issues: just as the Right will always pick tax cuts and wars over transit when money is tight, the Left will always pick public education and health care.

Comments


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And why you can't trust any party to keep the lid on freeway $$

So the proposal slashes transit but Republicans brag that they're lavishing more on transporation overall (ie. highways).

From the article:
Democrats said they agreed to the big cut to transit funding in an effort to avoid having to take money away from schools and healthcare programs. Republicans justified the cut by noting that state transportation funding will continue to increase overall.

This sounds familiar

Like many regions, Chicago is also facing a transit funding crisis, but the current funding plan faces a veto threat from our democratic governor. The governor's primary goal at the beginning of this legislative session seemed to be a new universal health care system, and he has failed to understand the importance of maintaining even sufficient funding to keep our existing transit running.

Saying that liberals will

Saying that liberals will always pick health and education over transit is really over-simplifying things, don't you think?? Given a choice of either/or (considering the wretched state of our health care and public education systems), I think most people would pick to fund those things over transit.

The problem is that we are given a choice of one or the other. Nix the exaggerated tax cuts and the wars and we should be able to fund transit, health care AND education!!

Urbanism shouldn't be viewed as a partisan issue anyway.

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