How Helping Teachers Could Hurt Bicyclists

| 8/23/2010 8:44:51 PM

CapitolPlenty of Americans tune out of politics because all the wheeling and dealing in Washington makes lawmaking a muddy business at best. We all fear that, buried in those 400-page bills, are provisions we’d never expect.

Here's a prime example: How does a measure to save 300,000 teachers potentially sucker punch cyclists and pedestrians?

It’s not a riddle. It’s rescissions.

Two weeks ago, Congress passed a bill that will send more than $26 billion in financial aid to the states, preserving the jobs of thousands of teachers, police and other government employees. Great news, right? Politicians finally got their act together and took steps to make sure students aren’t shorted in the classroom and communities don’t have to scrimp on public safety.

But that’s just on the surface. Look a little deeper.

To pay for the massive emergency expenditure, lawmakers needed to come up with some cash. With the federal budget already stretched to the max, they’re yanking back billions in transportation funding they’ve already sent to the states. And it’s not the first time they’ve reached into the pocket of your state Department of Transportation.

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