North Carolina's disgrace

From Streetsblog: The US House of Representatives approved an energy conservation bill on Saturday that includes, among other things, a tax break of $20 per month for bike commuters, which takes effect at the beginning of next year.

The vote on HR 2776 was largely split along party lines, and was preceded by inspired testimony from Congressman Patrick McHenry, a Republican representing the 10th District in my home state of North Carolina.

Here's McHenry, as quoted in the Congressional Record:

"A major component of the Democrats' energy legislation and the Democrats' answer to our energy crisis is, hold on, wait one minute, wait one minute, it is promoting the use of the bicycle. Oh, I cannot make this stuff up. Yes, the American people have heard this. Their answer to our fuel crisis, the crisis at the pumps, is: Ride a bike. Democrats believe that using taxpayer funds in this bill to the tune of $1 million a year should be devoted to the principle of: "Save energy, ride a bike.'' Some might argue that depending on bicycles to solve our energy crisis is naive, perhaps ridiculous. Some might even say Congress should use this energy legislation to create new energy, bring new nuclear power plants on line, use clean coal technology, energy exploration, but no, no. They want to tell the American people, stop driving, ride a bike. This is absolutely amazing.

Apparently, the Democrats believe that the miracle on two wheels that we know as a bicycle will end our dependence on foreign oil. I cannot make this stuff up. It is absolutely amazing. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the Democrats, promoting 19th century solutions to 21st century problems. If you don't like it, ride a bike. If you don't like the price at the pumps, ride a bike. Stay tuned for the next big idea for the Democrats: Improving energy efficiency by the horse and buggy."

So proud is McHenry of his witty remarks that he posted the video on his web page.

Like the man said: You cannot make this stuff up.


Anonymous said...

All I have to ask is how many packs of cigarettes you smoke a day and how fat is your ass? Frankly, I think it'd be a good thing for me to get some sort of a tax break since the SUV drivers do. It may not be much, but if it keeps from owing this year then I'm for it. BTW, I'm a Republican and too broke to afford a car.

Prolly said...

Wait. Is this the hypothetical "you" or is this directed at me?

I've never smoked a cigarette and I ride 120 miles a week on my bike.

Hopefully, you can understand my reasoning for posting this. As a cyclist, it infuriates me to have people like this making decisions for this country. Luckily this clown rarely gets to voice his opinion without being shut down.

I grew up in NC, born and raised and am well aware of the inherent attitude that most conservatives hold with regards to more sensible form of autonomous transportation.

If I could have it my way, cyclists would get a $2000 year tax break.