Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Walker leads the “Kick the can down the road” party. The “No-tax Pledge” Straight Jacket Road to Disaster.

The title says it all. This is called deferred maintenance, and if you’re a home owner, that can only mean big trouble and costly patchwork. This is also the ratcheting down effect Republicans love to see happen to government. But there are philosophical flaws:
1. You can’t raise taxes or fees, even when it pertains to a changing transportation formula adversely affected by fuel efficient cars. Family cut backs in driving have also played a major role since the recession.

2. Only using incoming tax dollars based on economic growth, which may be too slow and too unpredictable. It puts off decision making, resulting in kicking the can down the road again and again.
That’s why Scott Walker and our Republican legislators aren't actual leaders or decision makers. That's just advertising. They’re followers of a philosophy. Strict adherence makes them very happy, even if nothing gets done or things get worse. And failure only proves their point that government doesn't work.

Deferred Maintenance: Here’s what our do nothing Republican Authority plan to put off, knowing they will inevitably have to raise taxes or fees based on the budget office figures:
jsonline-Jason Stein: Delay work on the massive I-94 North-South and Zoo Interchange projects and cut payments for the Hiawatha passenger service to Chicago to help close a $63.4 million shortfall in the state's road fund over the next two years. The current gap showed up after the Legislature's nonpartisan budget office released figures last week showing that lower-than-expected gas taxes and vehicle registrations would leave the state Transportation Fund with $76.1 million less than the Walker administration projected in its February budget bill.

The Ryan Road Interchange within the I-94 widening project would be delayed until the 2015-'17 budget, which would save $19 million. Cut money for repaving and repairing state highways by $12.3 million … Reduce a major highway program by $7.3 million … Cut transportation aid to local governments by $4.3 million … Decrease payments for the Hiawatha passenger trains to Chicago by $1.1 million … Cut routine highway maintenance by $2.5 million.
Making things worse:
Walker's budget proposal already relies on $1 billion in borrowing to fund road projects, as well as large transfers from the state's main account and a petroleum inspection fund.
So all-in-all, things are looking really good when it comes to the Republican goal of fulfilling their philosophical desires:
Joint Finance co-chairman Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) "It would seem on the surface that it delivers on the major goals."
Oh, and that “jobs” thing:
Pat Goss, executive director of the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association, said "Certainly that means those projects aren't out there for my members to bid on and their people to work on." 
This insightful one sentence observation by reporter Stein is not only rare, but right on the money:
The Republican governor would rely purely on spending cuts to close the funding gap rather than raise taxes or fees, likely delaying, until 2015 at least, the inevitable confrontation between the state's sizable transportation plans and its inadequate ability to fund them. 

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