Reagan Vs. The Republicans . . . Again
Congress is currently considering a transportation bill, a subject that is typically an area of bipartisan agreement and compromise. But House Republicans are nothing if not atypical. And while they invoke President Reagan at every opportunity, they are trying to undo his program of using money from the Highway Trust Fund (funded by taxes on gasoline) for public transit and road repair. And before anyone tells you that Reagan was forced into this:
Reagan explained why he’d made an exception for the gas tax. “It was a year ago that Secretary Drew Lewis presented the plan and the necessity for rebuilding our roads and our highways and our bridges, because we’re faced with the possibility of tragedy in some instances,” Reagan said. “And the proposal was, as we called it, a ‘user fee’ to differentiate this as not a tax for general revenues. This is a tax to do this particular task.” . . . Reagan fought hard for the gas tax increase. Senator Jesse Helms and a handful of other Republican Senators tried to filibuster the bill until the end of the lame duck session, but Reagan flew more supportive Senators in air force planes in the days before Christmas to get it passed.
See, Reagan was a conservative but knew both the meaning of compromise and the importance of investment in infrastructure. If he was around today, that would make him a RINO.Click here for reuse options!
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