Republicans explain their support for big cuts to food stamps programs by saying that they want to reduce entitlement spending. Food, in their opinion, is a luxury that Americans shouldn’t be given unless they really need it. They worry that some Americans might be accepting food stamp assistance even when they retain a few thousand dollars of retirement benefits, or the titles to their homes. They want to see Americans truly desperate and starving before they’re given help buying food.
But then, if Americans aren’t entitled to food, why should they be entitled to roads? We can’t live without food, after all, but entire populations of human beings are known to have lived for tens of thousands of years without roads.
Right now, there are hundreds of millions of Americans who are accepting big government transportation handouts on a nearly daily basis, even though they have thousands, tens of thousands, and in some cases, millions of dollars in their bank accounts. The Department of Transportation keeps paying to create and maintain roads, and then allows people to simply use the roads for free.
U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer is taking on these big government asphalt entitlements with a pair of new bills, introduced yesterday. H.R. 3636 and H.R. 3638 would create methods for drivers to pay for the road benefits that they use, according to the amount that they use the benefits, by increasing a tax on fossil fuels and by creating a pilot program under which the people using government-constructed roads to pay per mile for the entitlement, rather than using the roads for free, as they do now.