Bits on the Big Bonding Proposal
More rumors on the “big bonding” proposal…
First, it appears that Rep. Chris Kelly is one of the prime movers behind the effort.
Second, there is some disagreement between folks whether the higher ed component is linked to the highway funding component or not. On the one hand, the higher ed bonding would draw on general revenue whereas the highway side might involve a sales tax or some other stream. That seems to argue that there would be two separate proposals. However, one savvy source believes firmly that you need the asphalt companies to pay for the campaign to convince voters, therefore higher ed would want to link them so they can piggyback on those campaign dollars.
Third, the amounts we’re talking about appear to be in the neighborhood of a billion on each side: one billion higher ed, one billion highways. In other words, real money.
Fourth, the arguments that Republican leadership will likely make to their caucuses will include: references to similar bond issues during Republican governorships of John Ashcroft and Kit Bond; “money will never be cheaper” due to the historically low interest rates; and these are investments into future productivity, not just “some program.”
It is still unclear whether those arguments will override the fact that “bonding” general revenue is a euphemism for deficit spending, plain and simple.
Originally in November 19 MOScout.