Government Waste- Paying the government for the privilege of paying

The government is once again showing its incredible business acumen, using their superior knowledge to dictate what we should do with our money.  Apparently we should give it to New York so they can charge us more to visit.  According to the associated press, Bloomberg is getting 354 Million federal dollars to set up a toll system to lower traffic in the city.  I have a better idea.

There are a lot of unemployed people in NYC.  Just equip them all with baseball bats.  Anytime anyone drives past, they should go up to the car and tell them it’s ten bucks to get down this street.  If they don’t pay, have them start wailing on the car.  Traffic is guaranteed to go down.  People could have frequent driver passes- They just give the guy $200 at the beginning of the month.  The city could even rent out the collection spots, funneling the money through some union hands, some bureaucrats, and finally have at least 3% left over for road repair.  No cost to the city, and they would even see profits. 

That solution isn’t perfect, but I have trouble seeing why my family of 4 should contribute around five dollars through taxes so they can charge me to drive through NYC, should I visit.   Does it make sense for me to go door to door in by neighborhood and demand 25 bucks from each citizen so I can build a tollbooth at the entrance to the neighborhood?  I could claim it would keep people from taking a shortcut through our neighborhood and thus reduce traffic, but when push comes to shove, I am making them pay for the privilege of giving them money.  I seriously think you could auction off this ability to collect tolls, and resell the lease every 7 years to the highest bidder.  The first bid would come in low because of the cost of the infrastructure (tollbooths), but given how much the New Yorkers pay for everything car related, businesses could make a good profit anyway- until the bureaucrats and union bosses got involved.  If they are really doing this to reduce traffic and not to generate revenue, I don’t see why this wouldn’t be a good solution.

In San Francisco and Miami, subsidies are similarly used to create other driving lanes.  I especially like how Joe taxpayer is bearing the cost for the rich in Miami, where hot lanes, paid express lanes, will ferry those with money to pay for the privilege.  Those who use the lanes will only be bearing a fraction of the cost.  You know because the federal government (reads “Joe taxpayer”) has to inject almost 70 million for the project.  If the project provided enough benefits to the users, it could be supported by the tolls alone.  Instead, the middle class is supporting the upper middle class and the rich.  Who will be able to pay the tolls in NYC everyday? The rich.  We are going to be subsidizing their transportation system- paying to have its usefulness to Joe citizen reduced.  The parade of the special interest groups in full force, and as always, the middle and upper middle class taxpayers are the ones who are carrying more than their share of the burden.

I have nothing about the rich having their own road, but I don’t think we should subsidize it.  If a private company wants to build roads and rent them to the rich, fantastic! I hope the rich enjoy the fruits of their labors in the form of a quicker commute.  On the other hand, a taxpayer in Kansas should not be supporting toll booths that will make it more expensive for them to drive in NYC, or lanes for the rich in Miami. 

Here is the story I referenced, by the way.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070814/ap_on_re_us/traffic_fee;_ylt=ArZWHMged9vUp2JACBTTylVH2ocA

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1 Response to “Government Waste- Paying the government for the privilege of paying”


  1. 1 bhday September 5, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Man, you’re good. That’s even better than the casino one!


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