Moving Minnesota's Public Debate Forward

Transportation

A robust transportation infrastructure moves Minnesota forward.

Bipartisan Transit Bashing

Once upon a time, a leading right-wing criticism of public transit cast it as an unwarranted subsidy to the undeserving poor. To Margaret Thatcher, a bus rider beyond young adulthood was a failure; to George W. Bush, strap-hangers needed only enough work to afford a car. Strangely, this argument lately has been turned on its head. It's fashionable now for conservatives to deride transit as a subsidy to the undeserving affluent. Even some Minnesota progressives have adopted this frame—speciously, in my view—in the ongoing debate over the proposed Southwest Green…

Transportation Benefits: Agreement, but Weak Action

In my first major project as a Minnesota 2020 fellow, I highlighted the economic benefits for Minnesota of investing in transportation. This was a direct rebuttal to the contention of then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty that hiking state fuel taxes for the first time in two decades to support highway construction and maintenance and raising new revenue for transit improvements would "hurt our economy." That canard was nothing more than cover for Pawlenty's lockstep adherence to the right-wing dogma of no new taxes no matter what, which had already prompted him to…