A report tweeted out by ENR's Washington bureau chief Tom Ichniowski last week that the House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee had agreed to use $40 billion from General Revenue to fund the next transportation bill put me in a momentary state of nostalgia. I quickly remembered when federal transportation construction programs didn't require an infusion of general revenue--which I believe has been happening for awhile now. I even remembered when Congress raised the gas tax and directed it for deficit reduction.
(The recent developments in Washington for a possible transportation bill put the folks over at the Heritage Foundation in mind of something else, namely "another big spending boondoggle.")
Those were the days, huh? State transportation budgets were rising. Contractors were busy building, repairing and widening roads and bridges. Industry probably thought those days would never end. At least that's the way I seem to remember it. Alas, times change. Which is probably something to remember, too.
With that in mind, here's a trip back in time, to the 1960s, in particular, and the hit song, "Those Were the Days," as sung by Mary Hopkin.
Just for fun, here's a more recent version of the song I found--with an actual music video--from a group called the Leningrad Cowboys. Can't say I remember this one, but I may not be able to forget it, either, since it seems to be channeling this insane David Lynch movie called Eraserhead. Consider yourself warned: