January 7, 1986
It's supposed to be the carrot OR the stick. Isn't it? Hold the carrot in front of the donkey, and the donkey pulls the wagon as it chases the carrot. If the donkey finally wises up and stops chasing, then use the stick to adjust the donkey's attitude. But White House staff and their sub-geniuses at the United States Department of Transportation have come up with a new twist to that old game. It's called carrot AND stick. The difference is important. After five years of unsuccessful attempts to end federal subsidies to urban mass transit, the Reagan administration has come up with a "concept paper" for fiscal year 1987 that would give large urban areas the carrot of fiscal flexibility and then smack them upside the head with significantly reduced money.