One of the (many many many) astounding moves from last week's US tax "reform" vote was the removal of the $20 per month subsidy for cycling commuters while retaining the $255 subsidy for car commuters.
(Yes, there were more devastating and inequitable amendments, but remember this is a cycling blog and I do try and keep on topic. Until I don't want to, coz it's my blog and I'll say what I want.)
Non-US people who read about this subsidy pretty much said "WTF?" so I thought it worth going into a little further. I didn't have to go far to arrive at this; $7.3 billion USD. Per annum.
$7.3 billion USD. That's the total annual cost of subsidising daily parking costs for US car commuters. Naturally the wealthier you are, the more of the up-to $255 per month you can write off on your taxes.
So you have this "interesting" situation where the CEO of Goldman Sachs drives to work daily and parks for free, but if you're the person who catches the bus to go clean the toilets at Goldman's, it'll cost you $13 a day in bus fares. And I don't always pick on Goldman's as my example of profligate entitlement, it just looks that way, and also, it's because I hate them. I work with them here, and the entitlement transcends continents, let me tell you.
There's a lot of good things you could do with $7.3 billion USD a year, and paying already reasonably wealthy people to increase peak hour traffic and pollution in the most congested cities on earth does not make my top 1000 list.
But you know, "Make America Great Again" ...