NEWS BLOG (WSAU) It turns out the Federal government, with a deficit of $1.4-trillion this year, has some extra money lying around. There are dozens of transportation projects around the country that were funded, but haven’t been built yet. In most cases states were supposed to put up additional money that never materialized, or private investment that was going to cover some of the costs dried up.
Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold says there are $626-million dollars in unspent transportation funds, and he says the government should take that money and apply it to the deficit.
Of course they should.
But watch what will happen. States that stand to lose money will squeal. They’d like the money that’s already been appropriated to stay there. They will try to get their lawmakers to plow that money into other projects through earmarks. Others will argue against transportation cuts, saying the money could be used for infrastructure improvements. You can be certain there will be complaints.
Feingold’s proposal will move forward. He plans to attach it as an amendment to an aviation bill that has broad support.
But making this small cut shows that there is little or no hope of ever closing our national budget gap. The Feingold proposal, which will be fought bitterly, cuts our deficit by only .003%.
Operations Manager-Midwest Communications, Wausau