Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Shotgun Wedding?

Meteor Blades has a post on teh Orange Satan that goes more towards the middle of the cash for clunkers argument. He believes that even though our goal should be moving more towards better transportation systems and land use, we're still going to have automobiles until we get those systems in place. He then ties the idea of cash for clunkers with transit.
Money for the CARS program should have its own budget, not taken from spending for renewable energy projects. And every dollar spent should be legislatively tied to a matching dollar added to the federal mass transit appropriation in the following year. Funding for both these projects should come from increased taxes on gasoline.
While the cash for clunkers program that actually makes people double their mileage instead of letting them off the hook might move us towards more efficient vehicles, transit and land use is so far behind that I don't believe a 1:1 add to the fund won't really help much. It seems to me like keeping the status quo, because outside of that funding, 80% of federal monies still goes to cars, plus the other side of the 1:1 cash for clunkers, which is still subsidizing people to buy cars. I can appreciate that people are still going to drive cars. But we didn't get to be a single minded car driving society by the free market alone. There are a lot of subsidies that made it so and the pendulum swung too far, and we're still pushing to that side, when we should be aiding a swing back to the center on both transportation and land use.

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