Friday, March 4, 2016

Walker's Rough Road Ahead.

I can't remember the last time I heard a Republican in this state say they'd pay for anything, ever. Sounds like we're dealing with a bunch of "on the public dole" freeloaders, doesn't it?

The transportation fund offers up a glimpse at just how bad it can get under their mismanagement. Really, no constituent blowback? Weirder still, they're still blaming Gov. Doyle for the world wide Great Recession that put them in this spot 6 years after the fact. Don't forget Obama, who's policies oddly had the opposite effect on Minnesota.

Yes, it's the transportation fund that should tell you all you need to know about straight jacket pledges and government policies hatched from the minds of ideological true believers. Many of the 16 states that raised taxes (because that's how we pay for things), were Republican economic wastelands. At least now they have better roads than us:

WKOWThe Department of Transportation has ranked Wisconsin roadways the 4th worst in the country ... finds 71 percent of Wisconsin roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Counties across the state are struggling to keep up with repairs because there's not enough money to overhaul the roads.

Columbia County Highway Commissioner Chris Hardy tells 27 News ... there's a $36 million shortfall in the department's 10-year county road reconstruction plan. That means the county isn't even able to discuss fixing some of the roads that are just now starting to show wear, because it takes years to complete each project.

According to the Transportation Development Association, 56 of Wisconsin's 72 counties replace the roads every 75 years, more than twice as long as the intended life span of 30 years.

Craig Thompson, executive director of Transportation Development Association, says in the past two years 16 other states have found ways to fill transportation budget deficits by passing new transportation packages. He suggests Wisconsin do the same, by having people pay higher user fees, with an increased gas tax or registration fee. 

In 2013, a special state commission recommended raising $640 million a year for transportation costs, by increasing the gas tax, among other things. The Legislature rejected the ideas. Last year, the state budget cut funding for transportation, halting or delaying some major highway projects in the area.

1 comment:

  1. And a bill that would allow Columbia County and others to put in 0.5% sales tax to pay for road maintenance was shot down by Robbin' Vos and company in the Assembly. So it's not getting better for next year, either