Building roads and rails is central to President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plans. Congressional leaders are calling new long-term surface transportation legislation this Congress’s “jobs bill.”
So in Washington, transportation means jobs. Not so much in Iowa.
Job creation is front-and-center for the GOP presidential candidates days ahead of the Iowa caucuses, but none of them are talking transportation.
“Transportation isn’t one of those issues on the forefront of people’s minds,” said Dan Holler, communications director for Heritage Action. “There’s no campaign fodder, nothing sexy about it.”
Though the words “crumbling infrastructure” have become almost cliché in the American lexicon, candidates’ websites are barren of transportation plans, save for expansion of domestic energy production. Only Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) delves into infrastructure policy at all in his Web platform, proposing to privatize the FAA, abolish TSA and halve the Department of Transportation’s budget. DOT should consider itself lucky it’s not one of the five departments Paul would eliminate as president.