It’s All About Transportation

The editorial board of the Washington Post has responded to Tuesday’s Virginia primary:

The results set the stage for what should be a sharp debate over the critical questions facing the state: first and foremost, fiscal policy and how to improve Virginia’s badly inadequate transportation system.

Both major party tickets fall short on answering these “critical questions,” according to the editorial, but amazingly the Post doesn’t see what several Virginia papers have seen–the Russ Potts solution.

With that easy answer not on the table, the Post offers this prescription:

Virginia needs a serious dialogue about how to raise the tens of billions of dollars needed for transportation over the next decade or two.

That’s the ticket–serious dialogue, not the whimsical dialogues we’ve been having all these years. This transportation problem is only now getting bad!

I’m starting to believe that it’s the editorial boards, not the candidates, who are avoiding the serious dialogue and tough choices. It’s easy for an editor in an air conditioned office to proclaim that transportation needs tens of billions more dollars. It’s a lot tougher for a candidate to choose Coalfields Expressway over Route 29 bypass, or rail to Dulles over widening Rt. 66 in Arlington, or the hundred other choices presented as they campaign across the state. It’s easy to call for spending money to repair bridges deemed inadequate by a national study; it’s harder to face voters stuck in traffic jams for months while the work is performed, and then longer when inevitably the project goes over budget or additional problems are discovered.

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  1. James Young Avatar
    James Young

    Will Vehrs,
    Why is it that the Post (and you) fail to advocate that the revenues derived from these “good times” be used for the benefit of all taxpayers in the form of roads and transportation. Might it be an ideological commitment to higher taxes and more welfare spending in the form of the massively increased revenues already coming in?

    My comments on the editorial appear here ( 2005/06/wapos-latest-effort-to-transform -gop.html#comments

  2. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    James, I’m not sure I understand your comment. Some of what I wrote here was tongue in cheek, but I certainly think that surpluses should either be used for the rainy day fund, major one-time projects, or as rebates to taxpayers.

    I’ll go read your link.

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