Washington, D.C. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) Porker of the Month for sponsoring a federal bailout of the Washington, D.C. Metro system. The National Capital Transportation Amendments Act of 2005 (H.R. 3496) provides $1.5 billion over 10 years to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
Congress has bailed out WMATA three times since 1967, costing a total of $6.2 billion. A series of reports in The Washington Post in June 2005 detailed how Metro mismanaged $1 billion in projects. Metro spent $383 million purchasing faulty new subway cars that broke down and needed repairs as often as the old ones they were replacing. Hundreds of millions of dollars were wasted renovating cars and escalators many of which were made worse than before.
The public transportation system of only one metropolitan area should not be funded at the exclusion of others. The national debt stands at $8.4 trillion and the War on Terror has no end in sight. Pedestrian and bike improvements for Metro stations simply do not take precedence over genuine priorities and will further exacerbate Congress’ out-of-control spending.
If WMATA needs repairs and improvements, it should be paid for by passenger fares, local governments, and competitively awarded federal grants. WMATA can also cut costs with market-based reforms implemented through competitive contracting programs. The subway system must prove that it can properly administer its budget before being handed a gift from taxpayers to make up for the money it has squandered. The $1.5 billion rewards Metro for past mismanagement and will give it less incentive to straighten up its practices.
For sponsoring a wasteful bailout for a parochial interest with a history of inefficiency and disregard of taxpayers’ money, CAGW names Rep. Tom Davis the Porker of the Month for July 2006.
Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.
Contact Representive Davis and let him know tax and spend Republicans are irresponsible and part of the problem, not part of Conservative principals.
Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.)
2348 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-4611
Tel: (202) 225-1492
Fax: (202) 225-3071