Friday, February 13, 2004

Changing the Tune

Senator Rick Santorum, in an article about the transportation bill in today's Post-Gazette (I can't find it online there, but the LA Times original is here):

Added Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.): "The signal we're sending here is the throttle is still wide open. We're going to spend, spend, spend."

That was from the original article, but the local version goes on to add:

Santorum later published a statement critical of the bill's funding formula: "To me, it's an outrage that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is being treated in this fashion. It's unlikely that the proposed 19 percent increase for Pennsylvania over six years will keep pace with inflation, amounting to a cut in Pennsylvania's highway funding."

As far as I can tell, he is criitcizing the bill for both spending too much and not spending enough! But more than that. Throughout the 90's the GOP claimed that a dollar increase in funding was a funding increase, whether or not it kept up with inflation &mdash mostly in relation to medicare and other great society programs.

Now it appears that even an dollar increase of almost one fifth over six years is actually a funding decrease. Of course, according to this page, the forecast rate of inflation right now is 1.88%, so I'm not entirely sure how 19% over six years fails to keep up with that either.