Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hugely important as Salem squanders precious funds on 3rd Bridge Fantasies

All the nonsense in the draft environmental impact statement about the value of time saved is just that: Nonsense. Auto drivers want free lunches forever, and are not willing to pay anything like the costs of their autobahn fantasies. Given a choice, only a few will pay tolls to get somewhere faster.

This is a crucial article for Salem, given that our local transportation and construction moguls are dying to tap taxpayers for hundreds of millions of dollars to throw yet another auto bridge across the Willamette, based on imaginary increases in what counts as "congestion" in Salem and the supposed willingness of drivers to pay tolls.

Most importantly, notice that the planners' fantasy includes tapping property taxes directly, again showing that the line about "roads are paid from gas taxes" is complete and utter BS.

The project is a corporate welfare vampire that needs to be killed dead as soon as possible.

If you click on that table above it will take you to Boondoggle Central, the website for the scam, where you can play with various funding streams and see just how outrageously high tolls, registrations, and gas taxes would have to be to fund this one without adding yet more property tax burdens in Salem, where we already have insane numbers of people who are underwater on their houses and who will be foreclosed in increasing numbers if the boondoggle gets underway.

In fact, that's what people really need to understand -- when you build a boondoggle in a contracting economy, you not only waste precious funds, you drown people on the margin completely, people who would have been able to stay in their homes without the excess tax burden used to fund a wasteful scheme.