President’s Transportation Budget Proposal in a Nutshell: Nuts.

It is pretty obvious that President Obama’s team allocated about 10 minutes of thought, and that by a campaign staffer, on the transportation section of his budget proposal. Ken Orski, who writes at Innovation Briefs, put it well. Rather than a thoughtful proposal,

What we got instead is partisan invective from Secretary LaHood, and a politically inspired proposal from the White House for a six-year $476 billion surface transportation program that even congressional Democrats have declared as dead on arrival.

The Administration’s reauthorization proposal –part of its FY 2013 budget submission — is a warmed over version of its FY 2012 transportation package that had been soundly rejected both by the Republican House and the Democratic-controlled Senate last year. To partially pay for the new program the Administration has proposed to use $231 billion in “savings” achieved from “reduced Overseas Contingency Operations”— bureaucratic jargon for ending military operations in Iraq and Afganistan. Such offsets have been dismissed as accounting gimmicks by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Proposing annual funding levels for transportation that are 40 percent higher than the current spending levels (as well as the levels proposed in the House and Senate reauthorization bills) and offering to fund the bill in a cavalier manner is hardly a way to establish credibility in the ongoing reauthorization debate