Why We Don’t Need To Go F.A.S.T.E.R.

Let’s start with a small thought experiment.  Assume that you are a long-serving company CEO.  You have been running the company well enough that it makes a profit-nothing outstanding-and you have been reporting good results to the board and to shareholders.

However, you now come to the board and say, “The economy has really gotten bad.  Our revenues are way down, and I have a problem.  During the past years I have never maintained our fleet of trucks.  We always had enough money that I could just buy new trucks instead of maintaining the old ones.  But new trucks are too expensive and now I need lots of money to fix up all the trucks that are getting old and need to be repaired.”

I think the first question you would be asked is something along the lines of this, “What do you mean you never maintained the trucks?  What kind of idiot only buys new trucks and never maintains the old ones?  How much of the capital of our company have you wasted?”  This would inevitably proceed to questions about prudence, planning, common sense and ends with a statement along the lines of “You’re Fired!”

It would be impossible to think that someone running a company would ignore the common sense of preserving capital investments by maintaining them to ensure long service and appropriate returns.  Then why do we repeatedly have to endure similar idiocy from the political class?

You can tell it’s a recession when the politicians begin loud complaints about the lack of money to maintain the roads and bridges.  Just four short years ago, our political class came hat-in-hand whining about how TABOR was going to kill the state and that they needed to keep billions of dollars of tax money for schools and roads and bridges.

This $3.7 billion (which has become $5 billion or $6 billion or more) was a “needed investment” in transportation, education, and health care.  Every special interest with its hand out for a government check supported the measure and so did a majority of the voters of Colorado.

This has provided more than $1 billion a year in extra spending – above what was originally budgeted.  So what has been our experience with the investments our Legislature has made?  We now have the Governor and Democrats proposing increased “fees” for every single vehicle in order to repair Colorado’s “crumbling roads and bridges”.  Yes we now need to go F.A.S.T.E.R.

Of course, this tax increase has to be structured as a fee increase.  The people of Colorado weren’t so crazy as to give up their right to approve any new taxes when they signed over billions in Referendum C.  Our gutless politicians wouldn’t want to do something so rash as to present this to the people of Colorado and have them vote on it, although their website (www.coloradofaster.com) explains that is has “broad community support”.

You will just pay a “bridge safety fee” and a “road safety fee” every year.  Forever.  To be increased at the whim of your imperial Legislature.  They wanted to have the “fee” indexed to inflation, but the Senate nixed that automated increase-for now.  Although the Senate has stripped out indexing to inflation and basing the tax on miles driven, we never know what will finally end up on the Governor’s desk should this thing pass the House.

So we have already given the politicians billions, and its not enough.  If they cannot be trusted to use the money they already have, why should they be trusted with more?  Today promises are the same as we have always heard.  We know that the spenders will be crying for more whether they get the money or not.

And we should all vote “You’re Fired” to anyone who supports the latest iteration in the rip-off of the taxpayers.

Rhode Island – Tax On Miles Driven

There is nothing that your government does but need more money.  And Rhode Island is thinking up new and creative ways to destroy wealth – including one new idea to tax you for every single mile you drive.  Whether you drive inside Rhode Island or not apparently:

The major elements include:

•Both new and higher fuel taxes. The proposals include increasing the gasoline tax, now 30 cents, by up to 15 cents per gallon by 2016….They also include a new “petroleum products gross earning tax,” beginning with the equivalent of 10 cents per gallon of gasoline in 2010 and adding another 5 cents in 2014. That would affect all petroleum products, from gasoline and aviation fuel to those made from petroleum derivatives, such as plastics, paint and fertilizer.

•Car registration fees, now $60 for two years, would rise $40 per year immediately and could more than double, to $140, by 2013

A new mileage fee. The $150-million plan would not include it, but the $300-million plan would impose a half-cent-per-mile fee… At a half-cent per mile, driving 10,000 miles per year would cost $50 per vehicle. One cent would cost $100.

Also referred to as a VMT fee (for vehicle miles traveled), the mileage fee would be based on odometer readings reported by vehicle owners when they renew their registrations. The mileage could be verified during mandatory auto inspections

Tolls. The $150-million plan could include tolls, $3 per car and $6 per truck, only at the Connecticut border

Tolls on a new Sakonnet River Bridge. The plan relies heavily on shifting the estimated $210-million cost of a new Sakonnet River Bridge, now the DOT’s responsibility, to the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority. It also assumes that the authority would borrow the money to pay for the bridge and charge tolls to pay the cost. Shawver said it isn’t clear how much the tolls would be, but guessed they would be in the $3-per-car range. That would take the cost of the new bridge off the DOT’s hands, while giving the authority the prickly job of imposing the tolls.

One other interesting fact.  Rhode Island already spends $354 million a year on its transportation systems.  So this postage stamp sized place is already spending $1 million a day and apparently getting broken bridges, bad roads, and lousy public transportation.

So based on that fact, why would giving more money to the obviously incompetent state transportation authority be a good idea?  Do you think they will spend the money wisely?  I would expect all the managers in the DOT to get a raise, lots of bonuses to be doled out to all the contractors, but if they do all this crap they will simply end up with the same crappy transportation system.  Only it will cost two or three times more than today.  And they will be back in a few years begging for more tax money.

And this doesn’t count the money that is obviously being spent by county government, city government and who knows what other overlapping and duplicate wasters of tax money are also spending on transportation.

But they are good liberals up there in New England.  And apparently they hate Conneticut since they only want to charge tolls on getting in and out of that state.

Good luck with getting any value for all those taxes you will be paying.

Tax Somebody Else!

Just too many targets of opportunity in the People’s Republic today.  And we present this liberal twit who whines about fixing roads:

Editor – Why is it that residents of Marin County and San Francisco are being asked to replace a piece of an official U.S. highway?

At the point just before U.S. 101 crosses north, over the Golden Gate Bridge, it is called Doyle Drive, but it is still U.S. 101. Why are local counties being asked to replace a federal highway?

For the amount of money that is spent on the war in Iraq in one and a half weeks, all the repairs and improvements to the U.S. highways, recommended by the Federal Highway Administration, could be made. But that is who is supposed to make the repairs and improvements, the federal government; it’s a federal highway.

Like everything else, President Bush doesn’t want to take responsibility for that either.

JOANNE MINSKY

San Francisco

Let see:

1.  You are the idiots who drive on the stupid road all the time so why shouldn’t you pay to fix it?

2.  Bush Derangement Syndrome – while I’m sure President Bush thinks about the roads in Marin County as one of his top priorities, why in the world have you and your elected representatives allowed your main transportation artery to deteriorate to some desperate point?  Clean up the turds in your own back yard sister.

3.   Isn’t it nice to believe in the Federal Government road-fixing fairy?  Who apparently will come and apply buckets of money to your roads without it costing you even one penny?  Do YOU pay any federal taxes, Miss Liberal Loony?

4.  I thought liberals loved taxes.  And you can’t get any deeper blue than the Democratic Communist People’s Republic.  Why aren’t you volunteering to re-mortgage your house in order to give the money to the government?  Isn’t that what you want everybody else to do?