Friday, November 13, 2015

After Democrats gave up on gas tax, vote to borrow transportation funding, Republicans now back tax and argue against borrowing.

Well, how about that, now that the Democrats went along with the lunacy of borrowing even more money for transportation funding, Republicans have decided to steal away their call to increase the gas tax. Checkmate.

While Republicans are willing to shut down the country to pass their austere agenda, Democrats are just trying to "get together," getting another black eye from their abusive political partner. Even deep red Republican states are raising gas taxes. But no, our spineless Democratic Party folded their tents, letting Republican state senators take the principled stand against borrowing, even backing a tax increase.

By actually siding with Scott Walker on borrowing, Democrats took the “outrage” out of the five-year-old road funding disaster. Seriously, when you don't even have a westbound exit for interstate traffic at the zoo interchange to Madison or Minneapolis, you've got a major league problem.

And yet, the Democrats didn't have enough fight left in them: 
Sen. Darling
WSJ: Republican leaders of the Legislature’s budget panel, after green-lighting borrowing to fund highway projects the next two years, say they’re serious about finding a long-term funding fix for roads in the next state budget.

“We can’t kick the can down the road any longer,” said Sen. Alberta Darling, co-chairwoman of the committee. “I know we’ve said that before – but we can’t.” Darling and the committee’s co-chairman, Rep. John Nygren, said lawmakers must consider a controversial fix: increasing the state’s 30.9-cent-per-gallon gas tax. “Many people look at a gas tax as a user fee. I think we should have all the options on the table,” said Darling, R-River Hills.

“We might need to revisit where ours is at,” Nygren said, noting that neighboring states Michigan and Iowa recently increased their gas tax rate. Darling and fellow Senate Republicans on the budget panel voted against the additional borrowing last week, saying it’s irresponsible to put more road projects on the state’s credit card.
 Yet Democrats don't have a strong hand to play here?
A recent U.S. Department of Transportation report found 71 percent of Wisconsin’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition — the third-largest percentage of any state. A spate of major highway expansion projects, including part of Verona Road in the Madison area and Interstate 39/90 from the Madison area to Illinois, have faced delays (2 additional years).
Another odd nonsensical position: With all the tax and spending cuts over the last 5 years, how can this Walker position make any sense?
Walker has said he won’t increase gas taxes or registration fees without a corresponding decrease in other taxes and fees — a stance that his spokeswoman, Laurel Patrick, reiterated this week.

1 comment:

BR said...

In the name of all that is holy, seriously, WTF? The Dems had a serious negotiating chip on the borrowing vote that should have been cashed in before joining the pubs and giving them cover for their fiasco.

This time walk away and let the pubs own the vote to raise the gas tax on their own then reap the wrath of the Grover Noquist minions.