<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Washington, D.C., March 31, 2003. April Fool’s Day always brings out the best in policy pranks, and 2003 is no exception. Tomorrow the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) will unveil a study that addresses the pressing public crisis over–walking. The STPP will release a poll that supposedly shows that Americans want to walk more, and that they also want to be taxed more so that they can walk even more.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
“On first hearing about the poll, we thought it was a serious but misguided attempt to push for more federal spending on yet another special interest project,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. “But then we noticed that the date for the event was April 1. Once we saw that, we knew—no way was this serious. It was an April Fool’s prank, and we’d fallen for it. Boy, we were embarrassed, but you have to hand it to STPP—they’ve got one excellent sense of humor. Very dry.”
Recent research has expanded our knowledge of effective walking strategies–such as turning off the TV, getting up out of the couch, going outside, and not getting into your car. While the extent of federal funding for this research is unclear, there’s little doubt that more tax dollars would mean even more research and more supportive infrastructure. Could the same be true of such other favorite activities as sleeping and eating? We may have to wait till April 1, 2004 to find out.
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