Stimulus Update: Senate Compromise Unlikely to Raid Transit Funds

According to a list posted by Politico, the Senate left transit funding untouched in the stim bill compromise brokered yesterday. For now, it appears safe to take a break from contacting your senators about this particular point of concern.

Whether it’s smart policy to trim the recovery package while the economy hemorrhages jobs is a different matter.

  • A Nerd

    Yeah, thank goodness they will be slashing all money for building new schools instead. That’s in no way stimulative and doesn’t meet any public needs.

    Come on, streetsbloggers, backing down on funding infrastructure is outrageous no matter whether it is your particular ox being gored or not.. Stand with education advocates against this huge mistake – since the house bill only had money for school rehabiliation, this means in this entire package there will be no direct funds to build new schools (just some bond financing).

    This is the way the other side gets us, by dividing and conquering and hoping we only stand up for our particular interest. “First they came for the schools and since I was a transit advocate I said nothing …. then (when the bill went to conference committee) they came for me …”

  • Look, just post a link and let us decide whether we care about new school funding or not. I don’t like it when people assume I care about their own pet issue, and I don’t like it when they assume I don’t.

  • I was tearing my hair out last night with all the vague reports of things being cut from the stimulus package – some of them including transit, and some not. After wading through multiple articles full of the same lack of information, I gave up – but I knew that sooner or later, Streetsblog would tell me what mattered for transit.

  • A nerd: bad assumption on your part.

    I remember in the 90s when I was part of an anti-smoking group that would protest outside of venues like Shea Stadium (big smoking b’boards inside stadium) and Madison Sq Garden for the evil Virginia Slims tournament. We’d have our supporters on the street but of course other angry people would come up to us and say things like “What’s the matter with you people? Why aren’t you using your time to protest child molesters?” or “Why aren’t you fighting for more cops on the streets?” etc. etc. I guess in some people’s minds there is only one group of protesters in the world…

    Just because you fight for one thing doesn’t mean you can’t or don’t fight on more than one plane or for more than one issue. Unfortunately, look at how hard this fight has been. I am sure no one here is taking particular glee about the cuts that were made to schools – my girlfriend is a teacher I understand what it is like out there. But the truth is the sblog network and groups like t4america and tons of advocacy groups had to fight hard to keep the transit money in. And it is a victory we should all be proud of.

  • rex

    One of the reasons that we are in the partisan mess that we are in is because of linking unrelated issues together. People make assumptions that someone that if someone supports one issue, then they must also support this issue. It severely limits the tougher part of communication – The listening part.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    “One of the reasons that we are in the partisan mess that we are in is because of linking unrelated issues together.”

    The partisan mess? This viewpoint alleges that it is party politics that fucks up our otherwise ideally constructed democracy. An attack on “earmarks” can’t be far behind.

    This made for great campaign push for Mr. Obama, and I gladly voted for him, but it really is a shallow view of our political economy and unlikely to get us out of the “mess that we are in”. Our democracy is actually typified by very weak parties, nonetheless the result, not the cause, of Federalist structure. Piling lots of things together, earmarking, log-rolling, are the only ways to actually allocate values and resources in the Federalist system.

    You see it plainly in the politics of this stimulus bill, loaded up with tax cuts to pass through the forty no votes that can stop anything in the Senate. Those 40 votes represent about 20% of the citizens nonetheless can veto anything.

    And the Democratic Party majority is under a very big tent full of very conservative, rural politicians. Obama can only lead this party so far as he is able to keep those people in his column.

    I am hoping for a more partisan, not less partisan four years where the desperate economics our country faces forces an alignment behind a disciplined program led by Mr. Obama that values urban life. But hope is all I have. So far it doesn’t look good.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “One of the reasons that we are in the partisan mess that we are in is because of linking unrelated issues together.”

    All issues that involve money are linked. If you are in favor of more for priority A, you are by definition in favor of either more taxes (now or later) or less for priority B.

    It is the failure to admit this that is responsible for the destruction of the future, which is always priority B.


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