Everyone else seems to be offering up their home state’s pet federal projects for sacrifice in order to free up money for the reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina (and earning Instalanches in the process), so I figured I’d go do a little digging and see what kind of pork can be trimmed off of Cow Hampshire (if I may mix meat metaphors).
The biggest source of pork seems to be the Highway Bill, so that’s where I went. And I see that we are tied for next-to-last at $900 million, even with Hawaii and just barely ahead of Delaware (which, I believe, is almost entirely paved over already).
But hard times call for sacrifices from all, so I’m proposing that he give back at least a third of that money, if not half. We have a few key needs (I-93 from Manchester to Salem desperately needs widening, and the Manchester Access Road will let people get to and from the newly-expanded Manchester Airport more easily), but I’m willing to bet a bunch of those other projects can wait a year or two — or even longer.
The biggest problem we’ve had here is that a good chunk of New Hampshire is lumped into the “Greater Boston” area, meaning our needs are tossed in with theirs. While that makes good geographic sense, it’s stupid from a political perspective — it means that moneys intended for improvements up here are controlled down in Massachusetts, and they’re much happier spending it within their own borders, with their own contractors.
In the meantime, I’d love to start seeing Congressmen and Senators start stepping forward to give back money with even half the pride they announce they “won” it in the first place. This is a time of national crisis, and we need to act like it.