Transportation Secretary: Less People Making Decisions in China is Easier

Posted: Jul 09, 2012 12:26 PM

Apparently, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood likes the way decisions are made in China: with fewer people making them.

Echoing the laments of pundits like Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood argued Saturday that China outpaces the United States in building major transportation infrastructure like high-speed rail because of its authoritarian system and because the Chinese don't have the Republican Party holding up progress.

"The Chinese are more successful [in building infrastructure] because in their country, only three people make the decision. In our country, 3,000 people do, 3 million," LaHood said in a short interview with The Cable on the sidelines of the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival on June 30. "In a country where only three people make the decision, they can decide where to put their rail line, get the money, and do it. We don't do it that way in America."

What LaHood failed to mention is that China only has just over 147 airports while the United States has more than 19,000. He also failed to mention burdensome EPA regulations that slow growth of anything to a snail's pace. It seems LaHood confused "easier" with "communism." The good  news is, he still thinks our system is the best in the world.

LaHood said that despite this, democracy is still preferable. "We have the best system of government anywhere on the planet. It is the best. Because the people have their say," he said.

LaHood also took the opportunity to slam what he classified as the "do nothing" Tea Party Republicans ushered into Washington in 2010, while not realizing they aren't "doing nothing," they're attempting to stop the bleeding of Obama's spending so the United States can prioritize spending for important things like infrastructure.

"Two years ago, between 50 to 60 Republicans were elected to the House of Representatives to come to Washington to do nothing, and that's what they've done and they've stopped any progress. Those people don't have any vision about what the government can do. That's been a real inhibitor in our ability to think outside the box and think big," he said