Anticipating the Senate confirmation hearing for Anthony Foxx (and hopefully his speedy confirmation by the Senate) to be the next Secretary of Transportation, I came upon a piece by the Heritage Foundation which said the Senate panel, “should ask Foxx the following 10 questions.”
But the strangest thing happened. After question eight, they just stopped. No more questions. It brought back memories of Texas Governor Rick Perry famously promising to eliminate three federal agencies if he received the Republican nod for president, but being unable to name three. “Sorry, oops” were his last words before becoming an instant classic on YouTube.
In all of Heritage’s 10, I mean eight, questions for Foxx, the federal government is blamed for what is wrong with our transportation system. Less government the better they say, 10, I mean eight, times over.
With this in mind, I have 10 questions for the people who work at Heritage.
- Do you take Amtrak on business trips? Seems convenient. It is just a two-block walk from Heritage on government sidewalks to enter the successful public-private partnership Union Station. Then “all aboard” federally supported passenger rail that keeps getting faster.
- Do you fly? The world’s largest, most-advanced and yes publicly funded air traffic control and airport system keeps you safe every step of the way. Thanks FAA!
- Do you like to get away from the office? You are close by the federal mall. Need directions? Ask a park ranger! I’d suggest going to the Smithsonian for its America on the Move exhibit, which shows how infrastructure actually built our nation. Admission is free!
- How is your commute? Do you drive in from Virginia perhaps, crossing one of many publicly funded bridges over the Potomac? Or do you use those Metro Smart Benefits, the federal tax policy that lowers your commuting costs on the federally supported and heavily used Metro system?
- How is the pay at Heritage? The most recent data show your president did quite nicely. I’m sure the (government-approved) tax deductible status for your 501(c)3 organization must make it easier to keep Heritage fully staffed and thriving.
- Your reports have many facts and figures thanks to a skilled and well-educated workforce. The author of your report on Foxx went to a fine institution, the University of Georgia, a great football school and yes, a federal land grant college.
- Do you have vacation plans? Better make them soon, as (public) schools are almost out. Perhaps a road trip along the Eisenhower (a Republican!) Interstate Highway system built by workers earning a fair wage because of the Davis-Bacon Act (two more Republicans!)? Or maybe a cruise, leaving from one of our many public ports?
- Do you have plans for when you retire? Social Security and Medicare, two of the federal government’s greatest success stories, will help keep you healthy and better able to pay your bills.
- Sorry, oops.
- Sorry, oops.