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Monday, November 17, 2008

Portland's pork wish list

Off to Congress we go, looking for a few hundred million for public works projects. Not a bad idea, I suppose, but boy, they sure do give those infernal streetcars prominent play, while the Sellwood Bridge replacement is an afterthought, way down the list.

Lots of lies in the liars' budgets, of course. The eastside streetcar "will generate $1.5 billion in private investments along the line." Uh huh. This will occur shortly after monkeys fly out of my derriere.

The Buckman community center is in there, though -- that one's long overdue. Sadly, there won't be enough for everything, and it's easy to see what will be cut from the list once the fiscal realities become apparent. Hint: It won't be anything shiny that sells high-rise apartments.

UPDATE, 9:47 p.m.: Well, that was fast. Suddenly the Trib story linked to in this post has been changed, and far from wearing the optimism that it did a half hour ago, it now leads with the news that no major federal funding for these projects can be expected in the lame duck session of Congress. Well, of course not. I assumed that the plan was to get the pork out of the next Congress, which will be ladling it out liberally.

Comments (9)

What, the monkeys will be chasing the nickels?

Talking of Sam the Tram, for once I agree with Lars about Sam shouting his mouth off at the Prop 8 rally this w/e.

Hey Sam you are my Mayor and I would have voted for Prop 8 as well.

I don't care if you are gay but I don't approve of "gay marriage" ...so do you have the b**ls to run again on a fiercely pro gay marriage platform next election ?

Bring that one on.

Subject creep.

Portland Tribune: The city and state have already pledged $72 million to the project but need $75 from the federal government to meet the total budget. The letter estimates the project will create 600 construction-related jobs
JK: The math:
Spend $147 million, get 600 jobs. $147e6/600 = 245e3=$245,000 per job!!!!

If this is the best Sam & cronies can come up with to create jobs, were doomed.

Why not just pick 600 jobless families and give them $30,000 per year for two years and spend the saved $110 million fixing the Sellwood bridge. This would have the additional advantage of keeping Portland’s major arterials free of traffic clogging junk like the streetcar - a win-win.

Portland Tribune: and generate $1.5 billion in private investments along the line.
JK: This is simply wrong. It is the tax abatements, not the toy trains that generate the private investment. I challenge the PDC & Sam to disprove this by ending the abatements.


"... get the pork out of the next Congress, which will be ladling it out liberally."

I wonder about that. It looks as though there isn't going to be any pork to ladle ... until the pent-a-gone-a-palooza is cut off. Line item-vetoed out of existence. De-institutionalized.

Military madness starts 'wars,' it doesn't keep peace. It's a full-employment, feather-bedding, job-security 'thing.' Shut the Pentagon, save the public money, redirect it on Civilian Conservation Corps jobs for all the unemployed mil.industry workers, (and even get a rebate!)

Doing things like rebuilding a Sellwood bridge, establishing a Buckman community center, and a bunch o' other stuff. A trillion bucks a year can pay a lot of jobs for unemployed bombmakers. So can a half-trillion.

Plus, lower the manifest neuro-nutsiness, and raise the common self esteem through accomplishment, on merits. A splinter-group minority cult, (Failin' Palin's rightwing wackos), don't got any merits to esteem in themselves. "I don't care if ... but I don't approve of (what other people are like)" -- there goes one now, half-baked and basted in pork grease (I mean, war-whoop oil-welfare, uh, 'depreciation allowance') for so long it's time to stick a fork in 'em, they're done.

Speaking of the streetcar... here's a good one.

My son was riding one in NW the other day. It came to a dead stop. The driver got on the PA and announced that they couldn't go any further because someone had parked their car on the tracks. The streetcar was stuck until they could get a tow truck.

A bus, of course, could just go around.

$101 MILLION for veterans housing. I wonder how many housing units they mean, and what the cost per unit works out to.

The Portland Metro area is severly hobbled with the worst possible brand of leadership. They are inept and incappable of adaptation to the plummetting economy. There's never any performance assessments anywhere in sight while none of them ever face any consequences or accountability for anything, period. This is the pefect storm for very bad things to come.

Somehow they are able to keep a perpetual luster on the facade that obscures the fiscal mess throughout every jurisdiction.
However, I suspect the end is near as funding for facade expansion vanishes.

Dave Lister, I've seen similar things happen on the Streetcar on a regular basis. I used to ride it quite frequently when I was going to PSU in 2001-02.

I'd often catch it at the 11th and Taylor stop in-bound (by the library), and it frequently couldn't make it up the very slight incline there. It would just sit there a half-a-block from the station with its flashers on for 15 minutes, before it could finally get enough juice to make it up the hill.

They want to spend hundreds of millions if not billions on an obsolete mode of transportation that can't even make it up a slight incline?! Now that is the definition of stupidity.

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