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Monday, January 14, 2013

No love lost

Rupert Murdoch's Weekly Standard takes a poke or two at Earl the Pearl over the mileage tax, bike toys, and general principles.

Comments (12)

Yeah that slimy hypocrite, Earl, drives a big Suburban to work at his office in the Lloyd district when he is in town.

Buried on the second page was this gem, "A recent GAO study reported that between 2004 and 2008, some $78 billion from the highway trust fund was used for “purposes other than construction and maintenance of highways and bridges.”

Neither here nor there as far as the congressman goes, but Murdoch sold the Weekly Standard a few years ago.


Isn't that rag owned by the Moonies? Or some other cult? Anyway, I am sure Rup can't hack Earl anyway.

We should be greatly concerned about any idea that includes GPS tracking. How long do you think it will be before police start writing search warrants, or DA's issuing subpoenas to see *those* records?

You'll feel differently about the VMT once you discover how easy it is to mount one of those GPS trackers on a bicycle.


You may be confusing Weekly Standard with Washington Times, which was indeed founded by the late Rev. Moon... (back in 1981... Moon was a staunch anti-communist).

Weekly Standard is pubished by Terry Eastland, and the editors are Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol. It's indeed right of center, but not hard-right at all... Kind of National Review right, not American Spectator right...

Did you actually read the article or anything else on their site before you referred to it as a 'rag'??? (when Jack links to publications that may be left of center, I don't refer to them as rags..)

just sayin'

Cheers, It's Mike

"Did you actually read the article or anything else on their site before you referred to it as a 'rag'???"

Nice post and needed corrective. That was a good piece. I don't read The Weekly Standard often though I should look at just to see what good writers and original thinkers such as Andrew Ferguson have to say.

The mileage tax is one of the taxes on Kitzhaber's agenda.

We used to install tachograph devices on delivery vehicles to monitor activity and supply operating data in the event of accidents; the gadgets remained operable for just about as long as it took the driver to disappear around a corner and disable the sucker. Good luck getting honest mileage counts.

tankfixer: In regards to the $78 Billion stolen from gas taxes not used for road infrastructure, I always roll my eyes when a few blogger here claim that much of roads are paid by the US general funds taxes.

What's worse is their claim regarding Oregon. They don't know that in 2011/12 over $180 Million was taken from Oregon gas taxes for bike, pedestrian, mass transit enhancement, etc projects in STIP dollars. But they just continue claiming our general fund pays for much of these projects.

Then locally if you add in all the tax dollars diverted to bikes/peds from even sewer, water and other bureaus, their claims are even more outrageous, especially when less than 2% of all trips are by bike.

I always roll my eyes when a few blogger here claim that much of roads are paid by the US general funds taxes.

What happens is that those few bloggers read another blogger, which might rattle off some statistic for some other state, and then apply it universally for the entire country.

ODOT's budget information is surprisingly easy to find:

Page 4:

ODOT will collect about $4.986 billion in revenue during the 2011 – 2013 biennium.
• About 20 percent of revenue collected for ODOT comes from the federal
• The other 80 percent is derived from state sources.
o 21 percent of state source funds come from bond proceeds/
Certificates of Participation sales.

2011 - 13 Revenues (in millions)

  • Beginning Balance $576
  • Motor Fuels Tax $1,106
  • Federal Funds $998
  • Weight Mile Tax $611
  • Driver and Vehicle Licenses $676
  • Transportation Licenses and Fees $97
  • Other Transfers to ODOT $121
  • General Fund $17
  • Lottery Proceeds $70
  • Bond/COP Sales $640
  • Sales and Charges for Service $25
  • All Other Revenue $49

Total Revenue $4,986

So, out of ODOT's nearly $5 billion budget, $17 million comes from the Generl Fund.

Page 15:

"General Fund: $17 Million. Allocation for OWIN debt service and administrative costs."

So, that General Fund money goes towards ODOT's share of a statewide wireless network that is shared by other state agencies (OSP, Forestry, Agriculture, Corrections, Justice, etc.)

And this little beauty, courtesy of the City of Portland...

A search for "General Fund" primarily finds the city's general fund paying for...streetlights.

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