At least some people in Los Angeles were happy we laid out the red carpet for President Obama last month (despite the traffic his motorcade created). The prez over the weekend announced a $50 billion economic stimulus plan aimed mainly at transportation improvements.
Few regions of the country have the kind of transportation improvements planned that L.A. has. So you know who was licking his chops like a dog under the picnic table? That's right, L.A.'s own mayor, Antonio "Subway to the Sea" Villaraigosa, who was quick to issue a statement supporting Obama's pump-priming efforts:
"President Obama's plan to improve and build upon our nation's transportation infrastructure is exactly the type of investment our country needs. The president's plan will put people back in jobs now while building and enhancing roads and railways across the country. This is an innovative vision that will give a much needed boost to the economy and will create a better system in which these critical investments are made."
Of course, the mayor was also quick to mention his plan to fast-track the region's bold transportation plan, which includes his proposed Subway to the Sea and other projects that will be boosted by $40 billion in county sales taxes, from 30 years to 10 years:
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"Our 30/10 initiative is aligned with this bold vision. 30/10 and the President's plan are centered on creating jobs immediately - by investing in transportation projects now, we can improve the economy and reap the benefits of a vast, coordinated transportation system well into the future."
What the mayor is saying with such subtlety and grace is ... show us some of that money, Washington.
Obama promised "to rebuild 150,000 miles of our roads -- that's enough to circle the world six times; that's a lot of road. We're going to lay and maintain 4,000 miles of our railways -- enough to stretch coast-to-coast. We're going to restore 150 miles of runways and advance a next-generation air-traffic control system to reduce travel time and delays for American travelers -- I think everybody can agree on that."
Marry Christmas, Mayor V.