A family-owned daily newspaper serving Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming since 1949

Bill in Congress shows all the compassion for Mr. Scrooge

Feb 13, 2012 - Mike Lieberman Riverton


The belief that the difference between the two major parties is one of fiscal conservatism as opposed to tax and spend is far from reality. There are differences. The differences are important.

From where I sit, it seems Congressional Republicans have all the compassion and care for the disabled and the young as did Ebenezer Scrooge before his ghostly visitations. Scrooge, just like Romney, would have complained about class warfare and the politics of envy when someone might have had the temerity to suggest he pay what a wage earner pays, percentage-wise, on his taxes.

The many examples I can come up with are mind numbing in their number, however, there is a bill in Congress being pushed by the congressional Republican leadership that seems to me to be the epitome of the "let them eat cake" attitude. The bill is the Transportation Bill and it has long provided rules, programs and money to make sure that pedestrians and cyclists are provided safe paths so that kids can walk or ride their bikes to school. Previous transportation bills have long made sure that funding was provided for access at crosswalks for the disabled. But if the Republican leadership gets its way, all those funds and programs will be stripped from the bill.

The bill, repeals the Safe Routes to School program, reversing years of progress in creating safe ways for kids to walk and ride bicycles to school. It allows states to build bridges without safe access for pedestrians and bicycles. It eliminates language that insures that rumble strips do not adversely affect the safety or mobility of bicyclists, pedestrians or the disabled.

I can see Scrooge cackling now as a fast SUV goes whizzing by a small child trying to get to school, laughing while thinking, "not a bad way to weed out the unfit! A prime example of Social Darwinism. "

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