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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/4/15

War on ... Walking?

Author 16810
Message Kathy Malloy
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Reprinted from Mike Malloy

Koch Brothers

What was the lyric from that Queen song years ago? "I want it all, I want it now ..." Something like that?

It must be the anthem of the brothers Koch. They aren't satisfied with their buckets of billions -- they need more. They want it all. And now they're targeting federal funding for bike paths, walking trails, and public transit ... because those methods of transportation do not suck up any fossil fuels.

This is from the blog

"Recently, a coalition of 50 groups, several funded by the Koch brothers, sent a letter to Congress arguing that the way to fix federal transportation funding is to cut the small portion that goes to walking, biking, and transit. The signatories do not want Congress to even think about raising the gas tax, which has been steadily eaten away by inflation since 1993.

"The coalition membership includes many stalwarts of the Koch network, including Americans for Prosperity,Freedom Partners, and the Club for Growth. The Koch brothers recently went public with plans to spend nearly $900 million on the 2016 elections.

"The billionaire-friendly coalition is trying to play the populist card. Raising the gas tax to pay for roads, they say, is 'regressive' because poor people will pay more than rich people if the gas tax is increased. But eliminating all funding for transit, biking, and walking, which people who can't afford a car rely on? Not a problem to these guys.

"'This scorched-earth proposal would eliminate the ability of local transportation agencies to invest in their own transportation priorities and lock us all into a 1950's-style highway- and car-only mentality that flies in the face of common sense -- not to mention economics and what the free market and simple demographics have been telling us for years,' wrote Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists.

"Eliminating federal funding for transit would devastate many American cities, where transit agency budgets would be thrown into turmoil. And while federal funding for biking and walking can make a big difference because the infrastructure is so cost efficient, killing those programs won't affect the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. The savings wouldn't even be enough to cover the cost of rebuilding a single interchange in Wisconsin."

What a load of crap, trying to justify their shameless greed by claiming raising the gas tax would hurt the poor. Who do they think they're kidding? If they were concerned with poverty, they'd shake the loose change out of their pockets and pay for some new schools, or finance candidates who would fight to increase funding for social and educational programs that would lift the growing segment of impoverished Americans out of poverty. They would support programs that would strengthen the working class, instead of constantly undermining our efforts to make a living wage.

And when do you suppose was the last time one of these slimy billionaires climbed onto a bicycle? Or hopped on a subway? Walking, cycling, rollerblading, public transit -- all are environmentally-friendly (and healthy) alternatives to clogging our roads with excess, carbon-emitting passenger vehicles.

What does it take to make the average American conservative wake up and smell the petroleum? Do you suppose Joe the Plumber and his buddies ever want to take a walk in the park? Or want to jump on a train to go to the basketball game downtown? When will they realize that these corprocrats are not their friends?

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Kathy never expected a career in radio as a talk show producer. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Kathy was completing her nursing degree when in 2001 - in an emergency - she was asked to fill in as the producer of Mike's program. Within a few (more...)
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