As soon as I heard about this this my blood began to boil.
How about a bill that would -
Force Amtrak to contract out 2,000 jobs to the private sector, and if the private sector losses money the taxpayers will automatically bail them out and make up the difference!
I'm a big fan of Sam Seder's Majority Report. Last week Sam was talking about the Transportation Bill that John Boehner has repeatedly failed to move past his tea party House Freshmen. To explain what was in the version of the bill that Boehner has been pushing, Sam Seder brought on Ed Wytkind, who is the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department President. Here's the short version: the GOP is trying to outsource one of the last things America has, our infrastructure.
That's right, the House Republicans who are screaming COMMUNISM! at anyone who disagrees with them is trying to sell off America's transportation infrastructure to foreign corporations, transforming decent jobs into low paying jobs with no benefits or job security while funneling taxpayer money into the hands of huge foreign and multi-national corporations. The American small businessmen be damned.
This should be a scandal. A massive scandal. More below the fold . . . .
This is a double screw-job. We NEED a transportation bill, we've been running on small supplemental bills since 2009, but Republicans in the House don't understand the difference between SPENDING and investment. This is why Boehner can't get his corporate welfare larded transportation bill through the House. Amazingly, the tea party has prevented this disaster, but only because they are too ideologically extreme to go along with Boehner's scam.
Meanwhile the Senate has put together a decent version of a Transportation bill that passed the Senate with 76 votes. There are some problems with the Senate version of the bill, it is by no means perfect, but it would keep America's transportation infrastructure funded, which is HUGE, because when these public projects are not funded it places a huge strain on the public. In their usual hostage taking manner the House Republicans have held up this bill up so they can pass a version that damages the infrastructure and sells off whatever they can to the highest bidder while mandating that any lost profits will be made up by the American taxpayer. Basically, this is one of their most un-Republican bills EVER. These are the guys who are always saying that the Government should NEVER interfere with the private sector, but I guess that doesn't count when it means mandating that the taxpayer cover any lost profits these private sector firms might incur. Mandate. Funny, I thought Republicans were against that sort of thing? . . . crickets
What's worse, the House version of this bill would increase the Federal share of funds from US grants to certain agencies, but only IF they privatize at least 1/4 of their operations. That's right, either go along with the privatization corporate giveaways or see your funding cut, and then when the profit motive makes the privatized service more expensive and less efficient, well, we all know who the conservatives will blame (Rhymes with Odama)
Ed Wytkind described this bill that Boehner put together as " just a ridiculous way to do transportation in this country" and a "complete giveaway to foreign companies trying to take over public transportation."
Sadly, I can't find many sources on this story. I'm chalking that up to the fact that transportation legislation journalism isn't that sexy, usually nerds like me and a few others might take an interest in this but more often than not this kind of thing is a mundane and routine function of government. Leave it to House Republicans to turn this into a massive giveaway to foreign business. Obstructing this bill and transforming it into corporate welfare fits the GOP MO to a T. This is why we can't have nice things like bridges that don't collapse while we drive over them.
Take the basic functions of Government like providing public transportation and turn it into a costly cash cow for private business, that's the GOP modus operandi, and nothing says that more than privatizing a public service and then mandating that the taxpayer make up any lost profits the private business may incur. That's right, redistributing wealth is a sin and un-american, unless you are redistributing it from the taxpayers to a private industry.
So the GOP is busy make jobs worse and blaming it on Obama, holding up construction projects and delaying transportation investment while they blame it on Obama. For the GOP it is a win/win, they get to screw with public services, making them worse and delaying them which will generate public outrage, then they will blame the government and demand less government and lower taxes, which will result in worse services and bigger deficits, and on and on it goes.
Taking something the public owned and giving it to a private individual, and then mandating that if the private individual mismanages his new investment the tax payer will rush to him with arms full of free money, this creates an incentive to mismanage, it is corporate welfare, and that sums up the problem in a nutshell. Corporate welfare is costing us EVERYTHING. This Shock Doctrine is slowly destroying us.
So congratulations to the Tea Party of all people, your blunt skulled extremist piety to the false god of no spending Reagan has until now prevented this total disaster, you are the unlikely hero, dear tea party, though not by intent, you are just literally too thick headed and ideologically extreme to govern AT ALL, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.
And a pox on John Boehner's House. To protect and expand tax cuts for the rich, corporate welfare and the military/industrial complex, and to restrict all other rights and protections. The House of Representatives is a total shit show, and this is proof. I'm going to come back to this issue in the future for several reasons, because I want to know more about this, I believe that investing in America's infrastructure is VITAL to a strong economy and a sustainable future, and the thought of these corporate vultures outsourcing the very sidewalks I stroll on boils my blood.
So I am going to try to reach out to Sam Seder and Ed Wytkind to get a bit more on this story. I'm glad my girlfriend Luchia loves Sam Seder and subscribes to his full podcast, she encouraged me to listen to his podcast over coffee. I hadn't heard of this elsewhere. This portion of his podcast was available to subscribers only, it's a great investment, I would strongly encourage you to check out Sam Seder's The Majority Report.
Framing. They call it wasteful spending. We need to start using the term investing. They are so busy whining about handouts to people while they are giving away handouts to corporations, corporations that make huge donations to their election campaigns. It's bribery. It's graft. It's a scandal, and it should be. Does it have sex like the Secret Service scandal, no, they are just talking about fucking over hundreds of millions of Americans so their rich friends can make a profit. This should never have become routine, it should be a scandal, not just more of the shock doctrine du jour that our corporate media totally ignores. I am looking into this deeper, I hope you do the same.
The floor is yours
Peace and love to you and yours
You can follow me on twitter @JesseLaGreca