Compromise is over-rated, even after long spells of gridlock in our Nation’s capital. Jesse Helms said of compromise, “Compromise, hell! ...If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?”
The latest compromise being celebrated is the transportation bill passed just in time to allow elected officials to return home bringing the good news of jobs and money. There are a few good things in this bill and we will hear about these as well as the difficult work involved in reaching this successful outcome.
We won’t hear about the “other stuff” which is always part of the compromise ritual:
· The fact that it pays for 27 months of road funding with ten years of budget savings and revenue measures;
· Transferring money from the general fund which would be offset mostly by pension and flood insurance changes, increasing the risk to taxpayers of under-funded pension plans;
· Creating new provisions not related to transportation;
· Diverts highway transportation funds to costly and wasteful transit programs; and,
· The never-ending accounting gimmicks and slippery surprises added when no one was looking.
Once again, kicking the can down the road or as Jesse Helms put it, “That’s what has happened to us all down the line – and that’s the very cause of our woes.”