Quote of the Day: What Mysterious Force is Preventing Passage of a Roads Bill?

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From Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx, at a meeting of the Business Roundtable with President Obama:

Why not, before the Congress goes home for December, just pass a bill that takes the two bipartisan bills that I just mentioned, up, and solves the problem?

Smith is referring to a couple of bills that would restore the gasoline tax to its old level and increase funding for transportation projects. He raises a good question. I suppose there could be several reasons it’s hard to pass either of these bills:

  • Democrats are in thrall to labor unions, who are opposed to funding more infrastructure projects.
  • All our roads and bridges are in pretty good shape and we don’t really need more money for them.
  • As a socialist, President Obama opposes these bills because they would increase the profits of billionaire construction company CEOs.
  • Vladimir Putin has threatened to invade Nova Scotia if we pass these bills.
  • Santa Claus is coming to town and we’re all hoping we’ve been good enough to get the bridge repairs we asked him for.

Or, of course, it could be because Republicans are less afraid of letting our roads crumble into dust than they are of Grover Norquist saying mean things about them if they were to maintain the gasoline tax at historical levels. Because, you know, taxes.

Nah. That’s ridiculous. It’s probably the Putin thing.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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