This is what we sent GOP senators to do, huh? They side with the Democrats and the Biden administration to pass a pork-filled bill and give this White House a huge legislative win. Is that what we voted for in 2020? And these clowns wonder why the base is enraged and willing to back unconventional candidates to shake up this town. It’s why Donald Trump won in 2016. It’s why he was able to dominate what was considered a deep field with regards to being traditional ‘Reagan conservatives.’ Seventeen Republican senators decided to back this $1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure deal boondoggle. It’s over 2,600 pages long. Did they read what’s in it? Probably not, but ‘Oilfield Rando’ who was mentioned in last week’s episodes of the Triggered podcast, analyzed and reviewed the pork buffet in this bill. Oh, and it’s only the first 666 pages or around 25 percent of the bill. Make yourself a drink for this one. Rando makes notes of which projects were most definitely tailored to buying votes on the GOP side of the aisle, like the $100 million Denali Commission provision that probably secured Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK). Here are some of the items thus far (via Oilfield Rando):
$550 million for the Technology and Innovation Deployment Program
$127.5 million for Training and Education
$550 million for the Intelligent Transportation Systems Program
A federal program that "enhances American productivity through the integration of advanced communications technologies into the transportation infrastructure and in vehicles
$405 million for the University Transportation Systems Program
Grants to colleges and universities for transportation research and development
$132.5 million for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics
The BTS director is by law Mayor Pete's senior advisor
$350 million for the Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program
$50 million for the Prioritization Process Pilot Program
Could have just taken a Lean Six Sigma course?
$500 million for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program
New pilot program to study the feasibility and impacts of removing an existing transportation facility that “creates a barrier to community activity”
$150 million for Planning Grants
$350 million for Capital Construction Grants
Annual listing of "socially disadvantaged businesses enterprises"
With federal in-person inspections to verify the business owners are "socially disadvantaged"
$75 million for studying how to enact income-based road usage taxes
Also studies using third parties (big tech) to collect road use data and fees.
Also a public awareness campign to warm us up to it.
$50 million for a per-mile road usage fee pilot program
Volunteer drivers will test a per-mile road usage fee nationwide.
Tracking methods will include third-party on-board diagnostic (OBD-II) devices, smart phone applications, telemetric data collected by automakers, motor vehicle data obtained by car insurance companies.
The advisory board for the program must include "advocacy groups focused on equity".
High Friction Surface Treatment Application study
The study will assess using bauxite on roads (has been done forever), and also incorporate renewables into pavement design.
$100 million for digital construction management systems
A new "Center of Excellence on New Mobility and Automated Vehicles"
New mobility means Byrd scooters.
Transportation Resilience and Adaptation Centers of Excellence
These centers will "support climate vulnerability assessments informed by climate change science"
And remember this is just 25 percent of the bill. Look, I’m not anti-infrastructure. We need a bill that addresses our roads and bridges. It’s a government appropriation that should happen—and it should be big. I’d actually be okay with a $1.2 trillion bill if it wasn’t so covered in crap. Like with anything in DC, there’s what should happen, and what’s going to happen. This massive waste in federal spending will probably pass. It’s the grease to the larger $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that’s even worse. Yes, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is not here—she’s on vacation, but Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is isolating due to contracting COVID, so the chamber is split 49-49 on this one with Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker. This bipartisan lovefest, plus the reconciliation bill, will add trillions in new spending and the CBO recently graded the infrastructure deal that the GOP signed off on as one that would add $256 billion to the deficit over eight years. It’s not paid for, which I thought was one of the selling points. And all of this as inflation is soaring and the Treasury Department is under emergency conditions, spending its cash reserves to fund government obligations since the deadline to raise the debt limit has long since passed. Those funds run out in about two-to-three months. Also, the government itself runs out of money on September 30 without a budget, so we’re all sorts of screwed here. We’ve mentioned this before, but if I were a Democrat, I’d wait until I can roll everything and more into a must-pass resolution in late September. I have the media in my pocket. I have a Democrat behind the bully pulpit of the presidency. There’s no way I can lose. Sick stuff to always keep in mind.
Join the conversation as a VIP Member