Eric Cantor is getting credit for offering a compromise to President Obama on national transportation funding, but hold on.
Cantor says he wants Obama to reprogram the 10% of highway funding Cantor claims is going to projects that do not directly pay for roads, bridges, etc.
In a statement responding to Friday’s disappointing jobs report, Cantor highlighted a proposal to eliminate a rule requiring states to set aside 10 percent of federal surface transportation funds for “museums, education and preservation.” Scrapping that provision, Cantor said, “would allow states to devote these monies to high-priority infrastructure projects, without adding to the deficit.”Facts, please.
Except that the correct figure is 1.5%, not 10%, and many of these projects, called "enhancements," pay for biking and walking paths, and other transportation alternatives and supplements that provide jobs in their construction, too.
In their response to the President’s remarks, House Republicans call for the elimination of the Transportation Enhancements program; they say it is ten percent of the transportation funding program. It is not. The Transportation Enhancements program is 1.5% percent of the overall transportation program, of which roughly one half is usually spent on bicycling and walking infrastructure.More about Cantor's errors and misstatements from the experts at t4America:
Ending this popular and successful program after 20 years would jeopardize investment in thousands of small‐scale, labor‐intensive projects that can be implemented quickly and efficiently. According to the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), bicycle projects yield 11.4 jobs per million dollars spent, versus 7.8 jobs created per million spent on road only projects. These bicycle projects also generate economic activity for a very low up‐front cost, offering tremendous returns on investment. In this economic climate, this is exactly the kind of investment our cities and our businesses need.
Correcting some misinformation on bicycle and pedestrian spendingSeptember 9, 2011
By Stephen Lee Davis
Bike and pedestrian projects get less than 1.5 percent of federal transportation funding — despite recent misinformation to the contrary
Surely Eric Cantor has access to them.