The GOP Transportation Package: The Ugly

The funding mechanisms in the GOP transportation package are a Frankenstein monster of ill-fitting body parts hideously stitched together. They are atrociously, terrifyingly bad.

If enacted, the funding package would sever any connection between those who use the transportation system and those who pay for it. This transportation package would subsidize people who drive more and it would do nothing to reward people who drive less. Bikers, pedestrians, telecommuters and bus riders would support the road warriors who drive 30,000 miles a year. Only a lunatic detached from reality, or a politician… forgive me, for I repeat myself… would think that such as scheme would ameliorate traffic congestion.

The financing package would rely heavily upon General Fund revenues, much of it collected from income taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, lottery profits and the like, which have no relationship whatsoever to how much someone drives, when they drive or where they drive. The same can be said of the proposed $2 billion in bond issues and, to some degree, the $590 million that would be raised yearly for projects in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

Better for the entire GOP package — even the worthy reforms — to go down in flames than for this abomination to be enacted in law.

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6 responses to “The GOP Transportation Package: The Ugly”

  1. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    The more cynical among us will say that the folks outside of NoVa and HR will not be happy with it – and I suspect their Delgates and Senators might well vote against it but the Delegates and Senators from the NoVa and HR regions – regardless of political stripe… will more than likely face stiff opposition in 2007 if voters don’t think they brought home … congestion relief

    .. and I’m trying to understand if the public is expecting more roads… more transit … or LESS development.

    Most Polls tend to reflect the latter… and that is what is driving these symbolic “morotoriums”….

    I just don’t see these same voters descending on Richmond to raise their taxes for more roads… unless someone wants to explain the 22% number of AAA respondents who supported tax increases.

    If I were an elected…I’d want a copy of that POLL broken down into demographics and such… so I’d have some idea of how my constituents matched up with the POLL sentiments.

    I just don’t see heavy support for tax increases…. and that includes these “back door” taxes in this plan.

  2. Reid Greenmun Avatar
    Reid Greenmun

    And so the never say die business lobby quest to set up multiple unacocuntable, all-appointed regional government continues …

    The price of good roads does not have to be bad government.

    And lastly, the Emperor has no clothes folks – ask yourself this simple question:

    WHAT will be built, WHERE, and WHEN will it be available to reduce any traffic congestion?

    And of course – WHO is accountable for doing – – anything as a result of this so-called “transportation solution”?

    The answer is – no one knows!

    All this does is raise a whole lot of taxes, fees, add new tolls – and create a MASSIVE SLUSH FUND for politicians and unelected people to spend.

    Look at the history of the TTF – we already KNOW what happens to massive slush funds in Virignia.

    What horrible government has been “crafted” by lobbyists, and then “teaked” by a small room staked with tax & spend and borrow & spend RINOs and Democrats.

    Shame on Senator Marty Williams!

    Shame on Delegate Leo Wardrup!

    And shame on AG Bob McDonnell!

    Where are the Constitutional protections for the TTF? The Governor campaigned against Regional Authorities and said no tax hikes unless the TTF was protected by a Constitutional amendment. Will he veto this and keep his promises?

    Where are the regional referenda in NORVA and Tidewater/Hampton Roads to allow the VOTERS to decide if we accept unacocuntable, all-appointed regional government???

    WHERE is the plan for WHAT the money will be spent on?

    This is akin to signing a HUGE mortgage without any details filled in.

    Only a fool would agree to that.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    RG – Look at it this way, think of the mess that would be created if the Kaine-Chichester approach would be adopted.

    Transportation in Virginia is about enhancing the real estate investments of a few connected people and not about moving people or goods efficiently and effectively.

  4. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Reed’s sentiments are not unique.

    There is a nasty tradition in Virginia and though never stated – the concept is that average Virginians cannot grasp the issues and that we need to have business luminaries and unelected VDOT folks decide what to spend OUR money on.

    when your main process is to create non-aligned slush funds that will be administered by unelected who often have conflicts of interest either from a business perspective or from a professional (VDOT -we build roads) perspective… you end up with what we have right now.

    And … it continues… and people are fed up with it.

    The development community … folks who gain wealth from “growth” are deciding road priorities… based on what they think is “good” for Virginia business and NOT what is “good” for Virginians who drive.

    In the Fredericksburg Area more than 100 million dollars worth of new infrastructure were primarily built to serve economic interests while existing roads .. maxed out… for decades were essentially de-funded.

    THEN the canard is brought up that there is a ‘crisis” and citizens are “suffering” .. because the state won’t “step up to the plate” which is stupid-speak for raising taxes on the very same folks who were screwed over in the first place.

    When more money is needed – they bring up the same canard that citizens are “suffering” a crisis because the state “will not step up to the plate” dishonest-speak for tax increases on the very same folks.

    I have to say …the folks who think they are in charge – they STILL … don’t “get” it.

    and I do agree .. that 2007 referendas in NoVa and HR are at risk… and will go down as before if the proposition presented to people is the same as before.

    More than 1/2 of people want to pay a toll and get a road…. that way.. no politician, unlected VDOT or unelected business proponents can screw it up….

    Note I did not say people want to pay tolls – they want service – and they know they have to pay for it but at least there are not middle-men standing there grabbing part of it.

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    RW – Virginia has been under the control of special interests for as long as I have lived here (1984). I would have voted for reforms first, but, given the alternatives, which would have easily passed next year, the tax and fee hits aren’t as bad as they could have been. Keep in mind that the Axis of Taxes would truly love to raise the income tax and the sales tax.

    The big problem is that too many people are too busy to learn the facts. Many believe that increased funding will fix problems.

    I attended a meeting last evening where a group of people complained about how little money Fairfax County receives for education from the State because of the funding formula and, at the very same time, asked for more money under the same formula. They are angry because they receive about 20 cents on the dollar, but are so hungry for more dimes that they would pay additional dollars to Richmond. To me, that is irrational thinking.

    I sense that the thought process about transportation funding is no better.

  6. E M Risse Avatar


    A very good assesment of a very bad package.

    More soon.


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