Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Great Essay About Waste in Government on Transportation

This essay was submitted to me by David Wisz of Birmingham, Michigan. I edited it only slightly.

Next to National Health Care, no liberal dream has lingered longer than forcing people out of cars and into mass transit – even in Michigan.  Like health care, the justifications shift with the political winds; the current rational is “jobs”.  However, unlike real jobs created by the private sector, taxpayers are forced to subsidize these public sector union “jobs.”

The 2010 SMART bus operating budget is $122 Million to support 900 union employees.  About one-third of the total bus operating expenses are siphoned from Michigan’s Comprehensive Transportation Fund (CTF) - a mass transit subsidy carved from Michigan’s annual road budget.  Nearly all CTF funds come from federal fuel taxes (18.4 centers per gallon), state fuel taxes, and state vehicle registration fees.

CTF is a redistribution of wealth from the Michigan’s car and truck drivers to public sector union-controlled mass transit agencies like SMART bus. Car and truck drivers actually pay substantially more for bus trips they never take than do the bus riders themselves as less than 10% of SMART bus revenue comes from ridership. 

Even now, MI House Bills 5768, 5769 and 5770 have introduced a TAX HIKE of 8 cents on gasoline (currently 19 cents per gallon) and 12 cents on diesel (currently 15 cents per gallon).

Yet even this is not enough…

MI House Bills HB 5731-33 have been introduced to form a Regional Mass Transit Authority which will have the power to levy taxes to subsidize Michigan mass transit projects similar to those in France, Spain and Japan which cost an average of  $51 million per mile.

We have also seen attempts at the County level by “Republican” Oakland County Commissioner Dave Potts who was the only “Republican” to vote with ALL the Democrats for a $17 million county-wide bus TAX HIKE – despite a veto threat by Oakland County Executive, L. Brooks Patterson - in his attempt to subsidize the public sector bus unions.

Now too, on the local level, Troy is pushing a 29% TAX increase, the largest property TAX HIKE in city history and Bloomfield Township is pushing a similar TAX HIKE with the encouragement of Mr. Potts. We already pay for bus trips we never take and may soon subsidize the Troy-Birmingham Transit center Bus Station we will never use. 

Citizens and Business owners are fed up with high taxes and wild government spending on such inefficient mass transit ploys which are primarily designed to TRANSFER WEALTH from taxpayers to public sector unions. Rather than spending more, we should follow the lead of New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie and cut millions from these mass transit boondoggles.

As President Reagan said: “Government does not tax to get the money it needs; government always finds a need for the money it gets.”


Anonymous said...

I believe it is Rep. Agema who is sponsoring a bill that would mandate that those who pay for the busses pay more at the fairbox. Even then, I think it was just 20% or so! Imagine having to fight to only subsidize something 80%! And, the Comprehensive Transportation Fund (for MASS TRANSIT) gets some of its dollars also from the sales tax on our automobiles,and then the schools are getting most of the rest of the 6% sales tax on gas. Only one or two places in the whole world have mass transit that is not subsidized, and they are in super high density areas like Japan. We just don't have them in Michigan.

Anonymous said...

Representative Hoogendyk, Could charges be brought against President Obama if he signs a bill into law without the law PASSING both house of Congress? I believe our President is putting our nation into an economic mudslide and is looking for an event which he could use to declare a "national emergency" and use the emergency to cancel the fall elections. I simply do not trust our president nor the people he has named to run HIS government.