A Hot-Foot for Governor Oops. And Me? I'm a Happy Guy.

Categories: Schutze

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Sorry, all you highway fans, but I can't help loving the snit Texas Republicans have gotten themselves into over road money. Governor Oops, posing for the last two years with a Tea Party pitchfork, dropped the act yesterday and blasted the medieval wing of his own party after they shot down his latest highway financing plan.

Yesterday after 31 House Republicans voted to kill his proposed constitutional amendment for new highway money, Oops said: "It is disappointing that some members of the House today needlessly delayed our state's ability to deal with the added strain our increasing population and surging economy are placing on our roads and highways."

Oh, Oopsie! You're not in character on this! Remember: it's not just late-term abortion that you have to oppose to stay right with the 'forkers. You're also required to oppose wheeled transportation. You forgot that part, didn't you? Fit of pique?

I know that killing your proposed constitutional amendment to fund new non-toll highways was a knife in the wallets of all your developer buddies. But see how it goes, Oops? Sooner or later it's always a mess having two girlfriends.

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City of Dallas
The little thing with an arrow out in the middle of the fake river is the solar-powered water taxi we get if we give the North Texas Tollway Authority a billion dollars of our tax money. The fake river itself costs more.
Oops wanted the Legislature to take a ball-peen hammer to the Texas Constitution to let him drain off $840 million a year in reserve funds and give it to his developer pals for spec roads. We here in Dallas know what that's all about. The downtown real estate sharps here have been fighting for 15 years to get a billion dollars in public funding for a road along the Trinity River that will carry so few cars it can't pay its own way as a toll road.

Ah, toll roads. There's the rub. As a true free market troglodyte, Oops is supposed to believe that roads should pay their own way. Let the market decide. If there's a real market for a road, build it, charge tolls and pay for it without public money. That, I believe, is the true pitchfork line.

Given the immense negative impact that new highways have on the physical and cultural environment, I myself am beginning to like the pitchfork approach better and better. Seems like a good test. If it's so badly needed, people will pay to use it. If they won't pay, don't build it.

Otherwise we get stuck with things like the Trinity River not-a-toll-road toll road, a proposed road that will be so unneeded and so inefficient that it will only be able to pay a fraction of its own way with tolls. The land sharps behind it want the rest of the money -- a cool billion last time I looked -- to come from the public sluice. Remember that the North Texas Tollway Authority, ostensible sponsor of this boondoggle, is currently under FBI investigation. Gives you confidence, eh?

Think about the way they peddle this stuff to us. We were told that if we gave them their billion dollars for this highway that cannot pay its own way, they would give us solar-powered water taxis. That's not even a free pair of pants. More like a discount on a thong. Cheap bastards, ain't they?

So do I fault the pitchforks for opposing Oops' proposed violence to the Texas Constitution? Oh, that's a tough one. I don't like the pitchforks because of their war on women, their racist campaign against minority voting rights and their evil persecution of honest hard-working immigrants.

But giving Doctor Professor Oops a hot-foot on his highway deal? Gotta admit. Kind of like it. Couldn't happen to a nicer group of folks.

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22 comments
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

I have an idea for how we can fund highway construction.  Why not have a tax on motor fuels, say about $0.25 to $0.30 per gallon and use it only for building roads.  That is roads and highways only, no diversion to public education, transportation related activity such as the entire DPS budget, just solely and simply to build roads and maintain the existing ones.

thechuckwilliams
thechuckwilliams

Everyone is scared to death to raise the gas tax. It's been the same since the 80s, which is why we can't pay for roads. That's the real solution, not the NTTA quicksand. But everyone with an "R" in front of their name pisses themselves at the thought of being the guy (or gal) to suggest a tax increase.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Maybe they can get Wendy Davis to pay for the roads, or maybe just get out there and build'em herself.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Given the immense negative impact that new highways have on the physical and cultural environment, I myself am beginning to like the pitchfork approach better and better. 

They don't have highways in Somalia.  Go there and enjoy the "culture" and "environment."

Tom434
Tom434

Time for the fact check and full disclosure, the vote total I have seen showed pubs in favor 58-27 and the dims in favor 26-13 with 26 absent.  Looks like for once Texas had bipartisanship

Rooster0620
Rooster0620

Our roads and schools are shit because they are WAY underfunded, and these clowns spent their time fighting over abortion?....

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

The Feds are worse than broke.

Texas’ Medicaid costs have grown a staggering 170 percent in the last 11 years and now account for a quarter of the state’s biennial $182 billion budget — a spike that has far exceeded the growth in state tax revenue, inflation and population.  The Fed currently reimburses 50%, down from 70% two years ago.  So all you lick-lippers are going to be doing the neutron dance when you wake up to what's coming.

TxDoT best emergency plan for an even bigger secession by the federal government as Washington hurtles toward certain financial ruin.  A 5% bump in interest rates alone will capture the entire federal budget, or what passes for one (ha!).  And there goes the seceding Washington D.C.  off into the good night.  

People, we are gonna be on our own soon and we might as well start planning for the day when the federal government will not match funds for transportation, Medicaid, social programs and education.  Hello Detroit.


wcvemail
wcvemail

"Irony" is shorter than "schadenfreude," but they can both fit.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaulI bet something like $0.201375/gal would be perfect for this.

Bremarks
Bremarks

@everlastingphelps Texas is Somalia.  TXDOT is now turning paved roads into gravel roads in South and West Texas because there is no $$$ to fix the damage done by oil and gas trucks.  And after what happened to women in the regular and special sessions, it's obvious that the Tea Party has morphed into the Texas Taliban. And we have the weather.  So your point meets the standard of distinction without a difference.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@holmantx

“…if we were to destroy every piece of paper currency in the world, and every bank account entry, we would not have destroyed one shred of real economic wealth. Indeed, our ‘real’ economy might quickly recover if it were released from what economists now call the whole ‘money illusion.’” – Warren Brookes, The Economy In Mind, p. 81

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@wcvemail 

Very familiar. I call it Schutzenfreude.

animas
animas

Involuntary conscripted "slave" labor also solved  Hitler's financial road building problems.  I'm surprised that the  (R)s in theTexas legislature haven't thought of THAT.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@JimSX @holmantx 

Inflation or deflation is not the trigger.  It is spending a trillion more than we collect in taxation every year with no end in sight, then dumping it onto the taxpayers's back to pay off in the future.  This is what's delivering this government into the abyss.  We have all become fatalists.  We know it's coming.

The Fed has long calculated on inflated dollars to pay back this rocketing debt, but any bump in inflation will now collapse the repayment of it due to the cost to pay it back.  It's the end of the road.  And the federal government certainly cannot deal with deflation when they are now going long on the refinance of debt with ever more debt.

But the real conundrum is taxing wealth and income yet to be created to the extent we are and continue to do (by borrowing instead of collecting taxes, if that were even possible anymore).

Because all those increasing trillions (recognized and unfunded) are nothing more than a claim on the future labor of your kids and their unborn.  We're cashing out, old shoe.  We will soon have no income to tax.  So the rubber meets the road when they must labor for a period of hours every day but not receive the direct benefit of that labor.  They just won't do it.  It usurps the Law of Self Interest.

And then think about what a deflating dollar does to that.

This is not going to end well, and Texas best start planning for the eventuality we will be, financially, on our own.

In fact, you might as well view it like this - what's going to stop it?  God's Will?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@animas 

Please! Don't give them ideas!

ebailey75057
ebailey75057

@everlastingphelps @holmantx 

The Liberals already tried changing the laws of gravity.  The Tea Partying Obstructionalist Republicans blocked it for no other reason than it was a liberal idea and not theirs.    

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@holmantx Liberals are going to protest it and get it changed.

Then they are going to protest against the law of gravity and get it changed so they don't have to diet to lose weight.

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