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Ray LaHood: Golly, I envy the Chinese government (In China, only three people make the decisions)
Hotair ^ | 07/06/2012 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 07/06/2012 2:01:43 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

It's bad enough to have a columnist at one of America's most prominent newspapers regularly singing the praises of Chinese authoritarianism. It's worse when high-ranking members of the American government do it. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood griped at the Aspen Ideas Festival about having to deal with political opposition, and yearned for the ease in which Beijing could impose solutions without having to deal with dissent:

Echoing the laments of pundits like Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood argued Saturday that China outpaces the United States in building major transportation infrastructure like high-speed rail because of its authoritarian system and because the Chinese don't have the Republican Party holding up progress.

"The Chinese are more successful [in building infrastructure] because in their country, only three people make the decision. In our country, 3,000 people do, 3 million," LaHood said in a short interview with The Cable on the sidelines of the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival on June 30. "In a country where only three people make the decision, they can decide where to put their rail line, get the money, and do it. We don't do it that way in America." …

“Two years ago, between 50 to 60 Republicans were elected to the House of Representatives to come to Washington to do nothing, and that’s what they’ve done and they’ve stopped any progress. Those people don’t have any vision about what the government can do. That’s been a real inhibitor in our ability to think outside the box and think big,” he said.

Er, high-speed rail is outside the box? Democrats have been pushing that idea for decades, even while our current passenger-rail monopoly eats government subsidies while delivering the kind of performance one would expect from an anachronistic transportation medium. Air travel surpassed fixed-rail transportation in the 1950s and 1960s, with its flexibility on routes and moderately free-market competition for passengers.

In California, for instance, the state and the federal government will spend $100 billion to build a route between San Francisco and Los Angeles that will consist of a government monopoly riding on tracks near one of the largest earthquake faults in the world for most of its length, all to deliver passengers slower and at greater overall cost between two fixed points. Airlines give consumers a choice of carriers and airports on either end of that route, will deliver passengers more quickly, and probably with a much wider choice of departure and arrival times. That sounds a lot more “outside the box,” and since the infrastructure for that already exists, it won’t cost an additional $100 billion for a state chronically in ten-figure budget deficits year in and year out.

Furthermore, the people sent those “50 to 60 Republicans” not to do nothing, but specifically to block the Obama administration’s agenda on big-spending government. That is how democracy works, and why we have midterm elections — so that voters can issue a corrective to Presidents and Congresses that defy public will. LaHood tried to tell The Cable that “democracy is preferable” after his hosanna to China, but it’s not clear that LaHood even understands how democracy works.

David Harsanyi echoes that concern at Human Events:

In my career, I’ve been lucky enough to meet cabinet members, governors, senators and even a few presidential candidates, but, honestly, I’ve never met anyone less impressive at the higher levels of government than LaHood. When I listened to him claim that commercial flying was a perilous mode of transportation, heard him say that bullet trains would soon replace cars and claim that building more bike lanes would solve the congestion problems in major cities … well, how can I put this: giving someone this silly a cabinet position should be an impeachable offense. Remember this is the guy who recklessly, and without evidence, suggested Americans “stop driving” Toyota for safety reasons right in the middle of the debate over the General Motors rescue.

And how has China’s authoritarianism worked out for its high-speed rail infrastructure? About as well as you’d expect:

The problem — beyond the idea of spending untold billions on the antiquated technology of static choo-choo trains — is that the three people making all these wonderful decisions in China now have a high-speed rail system plagued by failure, corruption, out-of-control costs and legitimate safety concerns.

Apparently, LaHood hasn’t heard about this, despite Charles Lane’s exposé at the Washington Post in April 2011. It’s yet another measure of the cluelessness of the China-boosters, but then again, anyone demanding massive government expenditures on fixed-rail transportation can’t be all that terribly bright in the first place.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: china; commie; communists; envy; friedman; lahood; raylahood; transportation

1 posted on 07/06/2012 2:01:51 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

TREASON! TREASON! TREASON MOST FOUL!!! Where is Joe McCarthy when you need him????


2 posted on 07/06/2012 2:05:06 PM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: SeekAndFind

If our government keeps it up at this pace, they won’t need to worry. Those three Chinese people will be making the decisions here and LaHood won’t have a jack to say about it.


3 posted on 07/06/2012 2:05:57 PM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheel barrow)
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To: SeekAndFind

Man, face reality. The socialist democrats never met a COMMIE, TERRORIST, ANTI-AMERICAN DICTATOR they didn’t like.


4 posted on 07/06/2012 2:06:15 PM PDT by spawn44 (moo)
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To: SeekAndFind
Sure, China can build, explore, drill, mine and do whatever it wants since it doesn't have all those pesky environmental-wackos plaguing the govt's every move. Would that we didn't have them plaguing private enterprise, either. Yes, environmental prudence and conservation is good, but absolute facist-wacko-ism isn't.
5 posted on 07/06/2012 2:11:28 PM PDT by carriage_hill (All libs and most dems think that life is just a sponge bath, with a happy ending.)
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To: spawn44

LaHood is a republican.


6 posted on 07/06/2012 2:15:07 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: cripplecreek

yeh, that is what I was going to say, elected to Congress several times as a Republican from Illinois. Shows you where some of our Republicans stand, i.e., no different than a ‘rat; and, Rush says it ain’t so.


7 posted on 07/06/2012 2:20:25 PM PDT by izzatzo (Just beat Obama.)
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To: cripplecreek
LaHood is a republican.

True, but he's a school teacher from Illinois.

8 posted on 07/06/2012 2:21:34 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: izzatzo

Are there any Republicans in Illinois? I mean...other than RINOS?


9 posted on 07/06/2012 2:21:34 PM PDT by kjo (+)
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To: cripplecreek

When Republicans behave like Democrats like this, why do we need two parties?


10 posted on 07/06/2012 2:23:16 PM PDT by griswold3 (Big Government does not tolerate rivals.)
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To: izzatzo

We have plenty of “republicans” like LaHood here in Michigan. Hell our Governor is one.


11 posted on 07/06/2012 2:23:33 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Frank_2001

“Where is Joe McCarthy when you need him????”

Tail Gunner Joe was right after all.


12 posted on 07/06/2012 2:24:02 PM PDT by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
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To: cripplecreek
Hell our Governor is one.

True, but compared to Canada Jen, he's awesome.

13 posted on 07/06/2012 2:24:47 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: SeekAndFind
Those people don’t have any vision about what the government can do.

Oh yes they do.

14 posted on 07/06/2012 2:29:04 PM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: Frank_2001

LaHood is a republican don’t cha know....


15 posted on 07/06/2012 2:29:53 PM PDT by Breto (The Establishment party is killing our country)
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To: nascarnation

Now that he’s encouraging vote fraud and compromising with the minority I’m not so sure.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2902511/posts


16 posted on 07/06/2012 2:31:20 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: izzatzo

I doubt if this communist will come out the other side still calling himself a Republican, unless he can continue to derive value from the lie. See, that’s the problem: everyone says there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the parties, but the truth is that we’ve been infiltrated by slick liars. The Democrats don’t have that problem. Why? A liberal will lie all day long and claim to be conservative if it helps to advance the liberal agenda. No conservative will lie and says he’s a liberal. So, we have Democrats pretending to be Republicans, while they have liberals calling themselves blue dog conservatives and voting with the conservatives as long as it makes no difference to the outcome. They fall right in line when the party needs them.


17 posted on 07/06/2012 2:36:50 PM PDT by Rastus
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To: SeekAndFind

Nothing new here - Goebbels, Himmler, and Goering said pretty much the same thing in principle if not in the same words.


18 posted on 07/06/2012 2:39:06 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: SeekAndFind

OK Ray, here’s the deal.

America will go with the 3 decider rule.

The only stipulation is that the first 3 will be:

Newt Gingrich
Marc Levin
Myself


19 posted on 07/06/2012 2:44:19 PM PDT by G Larry (I'm under no obligation to be a passive victim!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Then by all means please head for China. They should not have a problem finding you a vacant cave to live in.


20 posted on 07/06/2012 2:55:03 PM PDT by formosa (Formosa)
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To: SeekAndFind; Black Agnes
In this jerk's case (wherein he pines for the ability to execute dissidents), I would not offer him a hood or a last cigarette.

He'd get it the way they do it in his beloved Communist China.


21 posted on 07/06/2012 3:24:32 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Rastus

Can’t/won’t argue with that since it’s happening right here in our great State of Texas. ‘rats are seeing the handwriting, lying through their teeth, and running as conservative Republicans. As far as I’m concerned, my state rep, Lance Gooden, is one as is the current House Speaker.


22 posted on 07/06/2012 3:56:59 PM PDT by izzatzo (Just beat Obama.)
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To: Frank_2001
Where is Joe McCarthy when you need him????

Spinning in his grave!!!

23 posted on 07/06/2012 4:13:50 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (If we stay home in November '12, don't blame 0 for tearing up the CONSTITUTION!!)
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To: cripplecreek; Jack Hammer; Eaker; CodeToad; Joe Brower
(I'm like a kid in a candy store, since my 16-year-old daughter showed me how to put captions on pics using Paint.)


24 posted on 07/06/2012 4:21:24 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: cripplecreek
Even better with the #1, 2, 3.


25 posted on 07/06/2012 4:29:10 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Travis McGee

Liberals LOVE dictators because they each want to be one.


26 posted on 07/06/2012 5:11:19 PM PDT by CodeToad (uired to vote for a treaty.)
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