March 27, 2007

When Reason just don't make no sense

Few things will anger me more than disingenuous arguments in support of toll roads. Kuff pointed me to an op/ed piece in the HouChron by Geoffrey Segal, director of government reform at the Reason Foundation. These were the same fucko's who thought utility deregulation would be a smashing success. Even CATO doesn't say that any more.

So, before we go into debunking his actual arguments let's all admit that the idiot has no credibility. It will be interesting to see how much money interested parties gave Reason last year. Trust me, that's the MO... there will more than likely be a donation from a construction company or financier that is depending on the corporate welfare of the 'public-private partnerships' for future profits. That's reality. Reason touts this as freeing the market from government control when in reality it is nothing more than funneling public funds to private corporations. I'm thinking not so much. In fact most people agree with it's a super bad idea. For an organization that cares so much about free enterprise one has to wonder why they are so interested in giving welfare to anyone.

Of course, we should actually look at what Geoff wrote:

It seems many of the state Texas legislators who want to delay toll roads until 2009, at the earliest, have forgotten why the governor, Legislature and Texas Transportation Commission agreed to allow state and local agencies to partner with the private sector in the first place: TxDOT The Texas Department of Transportation is short $86 billion it needs to meet its congestion reduction goals as the state Texas adds another 13 million residents over the next two decades.

State lawmakers could raise the gas tax, which is supposed to pay for roads. But because of inflation and more fuel efficient vehicles, the 20 cents per gallon tax isn't even enough to maintain existing roads, let alone build needed new highways. Lawmakers haven't raised the gas tax since 1991 and show no signs of wanting to push the massive tax increase that would be needed to produce $86 billion.

Remember the $86 bn estimate that TTI pooped all over? Kuff does. So do I. So why would the douche from Reason not remember that it had been debunked? Possibly because it makes for a less interesting op/ed and by 'less interesting' I mean 'thoroughly unconvincing'.

EVERYONE realizes the gas tax is the better alternative to private toll roads. Except Krusee who's still fixated on how regressive gas taxes are and still pimping that straw man argument that tolls primarily effect those in the suburbs.

As for the raising the gasoline tax, Krusee said he was okay with that. But he added that he was going to make sure his colleagues knew that it was one of the most “regressive taxes” on the planet. He said most of the toll roads on the drawing board will benefit people living in the suburbs, who for the most part are affluent Republicans. “When we do a fuel tax, people in the inner city are not only subsidizing people who live in the suburbs, but they’re also subsidizing NAFTA trucks carrying goods from Monterrey to Chicago.”

We addressed that, Mikey. Guess you were too busy on a time machine to notice. The one thing even the normally progressive Texas Observer forgot to think about is that these roads are going to be built EVERYWHERE. We're all going to be driving on them. Given that it catches all segments of the population, doesn't it make more sense to spread the burden as cheaply as possible. One thing that never gets mentioned regarding the gas tax is that it, much like tolls, it's more expensive for those who use the roads the most.

Either way we are going to be paying usage fees. Given that, just being smart would necessitate going with the option that gives you the most road for your buck, the gas tax. Of course, the Lege has never really been interested in doing the smart thing.

Posted by mcblogger at March 27, 2007 10:45 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?