Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Railroading Our Financial Future

Agreement is such a lovely positive word. Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announce today that they are in agreement. The official press release pared down to the essence.

Agreement on Regional Transit: (blah, blah, blah) transportation challenges (yadda, yadda, yadda) this is a way out of congestion (chirp, chirp) natural resources (hummm) alternatives to congested roads (harrumph, harrumph) protect the environment (ahhh, ohhh, oooh) governed by a countywide Regional Transit Authority (blather, blather, blather) a ONE-HALF CENT SALES TAX (hem haw hem haw) does not guarantee these improvements will occur (errrrrrr…) RECEIVE FEDERAL FUNDING.

Oh, I get it. No new roads. Rip up old roads and replace them with inflexible fixed rail systems that historically operate at huge losses. Increase the sales tax so that the burden falls upon the least affluent (i.e. non-professors and non-politicians). Collect money upfront in an attempt to lure partial matching contributions of tax dollars raised outside of Dane County. (Hi Waukesha! Hello Appleton!) No guarantee anything ever gets built except for the balances in the government coffers. Tell the public their sacrifice of time and treasure is saving the planet --- for the children.