Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Rep. Tom Davis Porker of the Month

the Citizens Against Government Waste CAGW has named Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) Porker of the Month for July 2006.

D.C. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) Porker of the Month for sponsoring a federal bailout of the Washington, D.C. Metro system. The National Capital Transportation Amendments Act of 2005 (H.R. 3496) provides $1.5 billion over 10 years to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

Congress has bailed out WMATA three times since 1967, costing a total of $6.2 billion. A series of reports in The Washington Post in June 2005 detailed how Metro mismanaged $1 billion in projects. Metro spent $383 million purchasing faulty new subway cars that broke down and needed repairs as often as the old ones they were replacing. Hundreds of millions of dollars were wasted renovating cars and escalators many of which were made worse than before.

The public transportation system of only one metropolitan area should not be funded at the exclusion of others. The national debt stands at $8.4 trillion and the War on Terror has no end in sight. Pedestrian and bike improvements for Metro stations simply do not take precedence over genuine priorities and will further exacerbate Congress’ out-of-control spending.

If WMATA needs repairs and improvements, it should be paid for by passenger fares, local governments, and competitively awarded federal grants. WMATA can also cut costs with market-based reforms implemented through competitive contracting programs. The subway system must prove that it can properly administer its budget before being handed a gift from taxpayers to make up for the money it has squandered. The $1.5 billion rewards Metro for past mismanagement and will give it less incentive to straighten up its practices.

Congratulations Congressman Davis here’s hoping you and your friends get the message and change your ways. Maybe saying ”Pork is not my friend” 20 times a day will do the trick? – I’m not holding my breath!

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