The "War On Cars" That Wasn't

Blog ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

According to a Washington Examiner editorial getting some play on Fox Nation, the Obama administration has declared a "war against cars" -- a war funded by Obama's budget 2012 request for the Department of Transportation.

The editorial notes that Obama would increase DOT spending for 2012 and then suggests that the administration is funding "enormously expensive high-speed rail, unprofitable low-speed Amtrak, and other forms of government-subsidized mass transit" at the expense of building "roads and bridges."

In fact, the 2012 budget significantly increases funding for the Federal Highway Administration -- which takes up the majority of the DOT's budget -- to rebuild roads and bridges. In addition, highway infrastructure is the principal recipient of a $50 billion "up-front" economic boost for DOT in 2012, which the agency says "will be targeted towards projects that will quickly create American jobs here at home while improving our transportation infrastructure for the next generation."

In other words, Obama's Transportation budget makes life better for cars and drivers. At the same time, it promotes additional transportation options like public transit and high-speed rail. To most of us, having more transportation options allows us to go places we wouldn't otherwise be able to reach, but according to the Washington Examiner, Obama's proposals somehow "reduce Americans' mobility":

[Transportation Secretary Ray] LaHood has become an outspoken proponent of what rabid environmentalists misleadingly call "livability." That's a rhetorical device used by Democratic officials and political activists, as well as liberals in the mainstream media, to justify using government funding to force people now living in the suburbs to move back into densely packed central cities where they would have to depend upon mass transit rather than privately owned vehicles. While that might not seem like such a big difference, it is, because cars enable people to go where they choose when they choose. With mass transit, government decides for you where and when you go.


Policies that reduce Americans' mobility also dramatically shrink their access to new job opportunities, which is crucial to wealth production in a dynamic economy. Mobility equals freedom, but under the Obama administration's latest transportation proposal, taxpayers will pay more for less of both.

The Washington Examiner claims, "With mass transit, government decides for you where and when you go." I suppose in their ideal world, we're either walking or we're driving. If you don't have a car, you may not be able to get very far, but at least you're free from the tyranny of bus timetables.

From Fox Nation on March 3:

War on Cars headline

Posted In
Environment & Science, Government, Cabinet & Agencies
Washington Examiner, Fox Nation
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