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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Bush: Let the bridges fall

Anything but raise taxes. That would be the end of the world.

More shame for America. It's as if Reagan mated with a monkey.

Comments (23)

"It's as if Reagan mated with a monkey."

You know, I'm not sure even I can go low enough to riff of that straight line.

You'll probably delete this, Jack, but when you write such classless comments, it doesn't reflect so much on George Bush, it reflects on you.

You must have seen Reagan's starring role in 'Bedtime With Bonzo.'

For me, It's really not about Bush (that's a different subject)...

It's about the incredible frustration with the misuse of our tax dollars in our community. And that's without even beginning to list the billions thrown away around our country.

Our esteemed city leaders have or will spend billions on trams, light rails, and trolleys, in Portland, alone. At best, these serve 3 to 5% of the people.

I suggest that those funds already earmarked for transportation be invested FIRST where the 95% of us travel; on the roads and bridges designated for autos and trucks. Then, maybe, we could talk about raising road or fuel taxes.

Are Tom Potter, Randy Leonard, and Sam Adams unaware of the increasing frustration with their lack of performance on critical issues in our community while they are busy building temples for themselves? To name a few... Sam's Tram, Tommy's Towers in South Macadam, Randy Leonards Spray Paint Emporium, Tommy's Illegal Alien Hiring Center.

Do I need to go any further?

Jack, here's a large topic -- finance, taxes, and monetary practices, (for newbies to the view, a few hundred hours of studied reading are in order, to catch up), in a compressed densely aggregated space: THE JOYRIDE THAT WAS THE AMERICAN EMPIRE, A Book Review, By Carolyn Baker.

In only one small aspect of it, TPTB let the bridges fall down, and all infrastructure deteriorate, and personally profit by the ruin.

I'm thinking there is a 'taxation without representation' story, or angle, in it. Either for your own information, or fodder for promoting or blogging. Readers with facility in financial terminology, might like to wade in at the last link given in the book review, to scope out what all the fuss is about -- Financial Armageddon.

Again, 'Bush Prevents Taxes for social benefit,' is predictable, consistent, and malice aforethought, and only one sliver in a corner of the planks of our gallows.

For some reason, old Firesign Theatre fulmination comes to mind: What's it all about, Mr. & Mrs. America, Anytown, USA? Well, it's about this long, and it's about this wide, and it's about what we're talking about. Who's that knock-knock-knocking on your door ...

Funny, their latest is titled Boom Dot Bust.
(Review: www.benway.com/firesign/fst-reviews/boom.html )

"It's as if Reagan mated with a monkey." That's a real insult to monkeys. Also Mr. Smart Guy Tenskwatawawa Bonzo was a Chimpanzee, an ape, not a monkey.


This is FEDERAL tax money to repair FEDERALLY FUNDED bridges and FEDERALLY FUNDED highways.

What the heck does the CoP have to do with this?

Even your comments about CoP spending are misinformed. The state gas tax does go ONLY to street repair. It does NOT pay for trams, streetcars, Max lines, etc.

Other city spending is from the GENERAL FUND.

Gosh. Do you really lump all these together? You're a sucker for the knee jerk anti tax rhetoric.

Maintenance of the interstates is a state responsibility, not a federal one. The states have done a poor job in general of maintaining the infrastructure that the American public as a whole bought them.

I don't think Federal money should go to fix these bridges, the states should do it.

when you write such classless comments, it doesn't reflect so much on George Bush, it reflects on you.

If you voted for that idiot, I really don't care what you think of me.

I don't think Federal money should go to fix these bridges, the states should do it.

Or maybe the Tooth fairy.

Bush was going to Disneyland when he came to a fork in the road. The sign read: "Disneyland Left." So he went home.

Here is another one, just like the other one, though maybe less strident sounding. In a way, milder reasoned writing masks the crisis importance of the message.

These people I introduce -- Carolyn Baker, Michael Byron, and their circles of friends -- are the best and the brightest of our 'civilian' (read: non-corporate, non-corrupted) commentators and analysts. These aren't 20-something jokers spelling this stuff out between video game sessions in their bedroom in Burgtown. Mainly they are (ex-)tenured academics and one-time power-circle insiders, kinda like me, saying what they've seen firsthand and know in fact. Please, in the name of heaven, please, hear what's behind the headlines. Our approximate choice is go on collectively or end catastrophically.

As for what Oregon should do about its bridges, roads, civil structures, lands, and everything: secede. Break into 50 separate nations -- which disempowers the federal oppression. Then mutually work things out with our neighbors, WA, ID, NV, CA. Oregon is bigger than most countries in the world, and they get a seat in the U.N. Oregon - Washington is like France - Germany, in certain respects -- area, resources, terrains, climate, agricultural wherewithal. I don't have pat answers, but we can figure them out once we begin to responsibly fend for ourselves.

Screw D.C. That's the 'Government' that Chimpdaddy Reagan mocked and everyone thought funny, to say, "he is from 'it' and he is here to help." It's funny when 'he' is obviously no help. It's deathly unfunny when 'he' is obviously people's enemy.

On topic, a quote from the link, (above): Elites ... became ever more ruthless, rapacious, and greedy. To conceal the increasing wealth deficit from Americans, national infrastructure -— bridges, roads, levees, and so on, was increasingly neglected. Americans lived off of their past investments even as their national infrastructure decayed ....

So before we raise taxes which could affect economic growth, I would strongly urge the Congress to examine how they set priorities. - From today's press conference.

Someone explain to me how $3.50/gallon gas is good for the economy, while a $.50/gallon gas tax, which will put people to work, is bad. I'm having trouble wrapping my head around that.

It's interesting to watch him try and pin this one on the "Democrat" Congress and the way they prioritize spending. It's almost as if the years 1994-2006 didn't exist. That's not to say Dems are without blame, but I fail to see how another tax cut is going to get the nation's infrastructure healthy again.

"You're a sucker for the knee jerk anti tax rhetoric."

I am not reacting with a Knee Jerk Anti Tax Rhetoric. My point is exactly what you don't agree with. I believe that we don't need increased tax for what we need.

We've got it all backwards. We have local, regional and a federal government which have found it much easier to "sell" the FUN STUFF rather than focus on the NECESSARY.

I want the current federal revenue earmarked for transportation invested in the TRANSPORTATION NEEDS OF 95% of the people which FEDERAL DOLLARS for transportation should have purchased in the first place. Not invested in the whims of an ever-changing CoP or Metro bureacracy who try to outdo each other with their fanciful, "cute" projects. Replacing Sellwood Bridge, fixing the Burnside Bridge, or inproving the flow of cars on our main arterials isn't nearly as attractive as announcing a brand new extension of light rail to Milwaukie.

Let me put it this way... "OK kids, I'm taking the money I earned and I'm goint to the market. But instead of buying the milk and bread we need I'M GOING TO BUY CANDY. Won't that be fun!" The kids all jump up and down with joy. But the next morning they didn't have WHAT THEY NEEDED.

"State gas tax does go ONLY to street repair." You got to be kidding... if you expect me to believe that line. And in addition to the Gas Tax collected, where does the $900,000,000, I repeat, NINE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS of the Oregon Department of Transportation budget go to every year?

I don't think Federal money should go to fix these bridges, the states should do it.

Federal money *DOES* pay for repairs to these bridges, funded by the federal portion of the gas tax (18.3 cents per gallon) via the HBRR program.


And contrary to the Chimp's know-nothing assertion, bridges *ARE* prioritized for funding. That's what those "functionally obsolete" and "structurally deficient" numbers are used for.

Someone explain to me how $3.50/gallon gas is good for the economy, while a $.50/gallon gas tax, which will put people to work, is bad.

I'm no fan of Bush, but he's actually got a point here. The problem is that the $3.50 gallon of gas becomes a $4.00 gallon if you add the gas tax. That harms the economy (increasing shipping costs, reducing tourism) and serves as a regressive tax.

Bush is also right, as far as he goes here, about our spending priorities being misplaced. I believe the term for this is "irony."

Lots and lots of money is already available. It's a mater of priorities. That's what Bush is saying. In Minnesota alone they've spent over a billion dollars of transportation money on a light rail system, something we here in Portland know all about.

It doesn't really matter if it's local, state, or federal money.

The feds are great for doing stuff that is beyond a local community or a state's resources, because they can pool some portion of the whole country's rescources and focus them on one little spot. Disaster recover is - or should be, anyway - a great example.

But that pool-and-focus scheme doesn't work very well when a problem is uniformly distributed across the country. You can pool if you like, but there's too much to focus on.

The road network is, I'd guess, pretty uniform when compared to population density. (Of course there are exceptions - Harney County springs to mind - but generally.) No matter how you shuffle the money, for the most part local people everywhere are going to end up paying for the road network nearest themselves.

The argument for having the feds pay for this rests on the idea that interstate highway maintenance was always a federal responsibility; if so then we should get our fair share. But if it was in fact a local responsibility all along, then we'd better be better off to just buck up and fix it ourselves without dreaming of federal dollars.

Bah. That's supposed to read "...we'd be better off...".

The problem is that the $3.50 gallon of gas becomes a $4.00 gallon if you add the gas tax.

Sorry. Not buying it. That's the same argument I heard post-9/11 when I was told a $.50/gallon gas tax would make my $1.50 gas become $2 gas. Imagine! $2 for a gallon of gas!

Now it's six years later, gas prices have more than tripled from the $.99/gallon I was paying while living in Bellevue WA in March 2002, and we haven't done a damned thing to either wean ourselves from foreign oil or repair our infrastructure.

$4/gallon gas will have as much impact on the economy as $3/gallon gas did. It's time we add the tax.

"It's time we add the tax..."

No Chris, it's time all the condo farms and TODs pay their fair share. Everyone of those developments rely on good ol' roads and highways to be successful. Yet, they still drain our general fund and get away with fiscal murder.

I suggest a $1 per thousand surcharge be levied on all TOD developments -- to be put toward bridge and road maintenance. Yeah right, like the libs in our local government would ever do that.

Also, the world's worst governor ever, Teddy K., placated all his employee union buddies and created 1,777 public sector jobs for the next biennium. Boy, way to prioritize tax dollars there Ted.


You Democrats must be so proud.

"You Democrats must be so proud."

From The Statesman Journal:

"The new jobs are largely located in Salem and other communities hosting major state institutions, such as college campuses and a new prison in Madras. Most of the new positions are devoted to public safety, state universities and the Department of Human Services. . . .

"The seven-campus Oregon University System scored 425 of the new positions, thanks to a healthy increase in state funding. Most of that will come in the form of faculty positions to reduce class sizes, increase enrollment and add new programs in health sciences and other subjects, Rocco said.

"The Department of Human Services gains 440 new positions. Those will help carry out a welfare reform enacted by the Legislature, expand child welfare programs, add staff to the Oregon State Hospital -- as required by a lawsuit settlement -- and help plan for a new hospital, among other functions.

"Public safety and the judiciary account for 868 of the remaining new positions. The Department of Corrections gets 464 new jobs, many of them to staff the new Madras prison opening later this year.

"The Oregon State Police gets 73 additional positions, to bolster the number of troopers on state highways."

Yes, Chris, I am proud. Those people will provide valuable, even essential, services to the people of this state.

You Libertarians must be so upset that some of your money is going to help someone besides yourselves.

And now for something completely different and still the same old same old.

Ask not what interstate highways can do for Oregon, ask what Oregon can do for interstate highways.

The Road to Clarity, By JOSHUA YAFFA, August 12, 2007

"... Around the same time [graphic designer Don] Meeker and his team were thinking about how to solve the problem of information clutter in Oregon, the Federal Highway Administration was concerned with another problem. Issues of readability ...."

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