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With Ryan on Board, Differences in Campaign Transportation Policies Become Clear

With Mitt Romney's announcement of Paul Ryan as his running mate, America's Presidential campaign is heating up. With Ryan, and his policies, attached to the ticket, Yonah Freemark looks at the contrast in transportation policy with President Obama.

Assuming that Romney's selection of Ryan is an endorsement of his policy views, especially where Romney has not been specific, Freemark takes a detailed look at Ryan's extensive voting record in the House of Representatives and his budget proposals to get a sense of the philosophy of a Romney-Ryan presidency. 

Freemark concludes, "In matters of transportation, this attitude would steadily decrease the role of the federal government in sponsoring infrastructure projects, especially those that cannot be sponsored entirely through user fees. It would discourage the consideration of negative externalities, such as pollution and congestion, in the considerations of what subsidies should be provided for alternative transportation - because its political ideology opposes government subsidies altogether. It would dismantle enforcement of federal environmental regulations, especially those that recognise climate change, and encourage the privatization of public services such as transit systems or parking meters."

"In contrast, President Obama's proposed budget would expand transportation expenditures massively over the next six years, with a particular focus on intercity rail and public transportation. Under his budget, federal expenditures going to transit and rail would increase from 22.9% of transportation funding in 2013 to 35.7% in 2018; under Mr. Ryan's program, they could decline to almost nothing, since transit cannot pay for itself using user fees, like it or not."

Full Story: As the U.S. Presidential Election Begins in Earnest, a Study in Contrasts



Michael Lewyn's picture

lots of highly questionable assumptions

This post assumes that:

1. Somebody in the Obama Administration actually believes that its budget proposal could become law (unlikely given the current Congress); and

2. That the Ryan proposal somehow reflects what President Romney would favor (as if Romney actually spent a millisecond thinking about Ryan's opinion on issues that Romney himself probably hasn't thought about much over the past year, since they didn't really come up much in the GOP primaries).

"unlikely given the current Congress"

But the question at this point is what the next Congress and the next administration will look like.

I think it is possible that Ryan's extremism will cost the Republicans dearly, and may even cost them control of congress.

Charles Siegel

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