Not that I want to continue to prop up the left wing through pointing out their fallacies, Eric Luedtke has decided that it is time to tax the middle class into poverty through the creation of a funding source for transportation projects other than just the flat gas tax. Luedtke's reasoning is as follows: people are driving less due to high gas prices and the O'Malley Recession, ergo we need to find out a new way to make sure transportation projects can be funded.
So is the solution to do the logical thing and cut discretionary spending to cover the shortfall? Of course not, that wouldn't fit in with Luedtke's myopic worldview and limited economic understanding. Instead, he has two harebrained schemes designed to take money out of your pocket:
One alternative is congestion pricing, at least around the urban areas of Baltimore and Washington. The idea is that you set up a series of concentric rings around the cities, and use a sort of EZ-Pass system so that as commuters get closerto the center of the city, they pay a little bit as they enter each new ring. Similar systems have been successfully implemented in a number of places, most notably London.That's right. He wants to charge you to drive on roads that you already have paid for, roads that are currently free. Now, I'm not opposed in principle to toll roads, particularly ones that are used in privatization plans that either takes highway maintenance off of the state budget, or the construction of new roads through private funding. But Luedtke's idea of brining congestion pricing to the US is the type of statist idea that is anathema to our way of life and would be devastating to the middle class and small business owners alike:
A payment of £8 is required for each day a chargeable vehicle enters or travels within the zone between 7am and 6pm; a fine of between £60 and £180 is imposed for non-payment.That's the equivalent of $16 per day to enter downtown London, and I'm sure that Luedtke's scheme would involve similar or even higher congestion payments. It is ridiculous and it is absurd to think that such a system would even be proposed by somebody who wishes to be taken seriously.
As usual, he ends with a gem:
So, in the near future, we're probably going to see a drop-off in money for new transportation projects and reconstruction of infrastructure. Unless the state's politicians show a level of bold leadership that's not typical of politicians in bad economic times. Fat chance.But at least there we can agree. Until Democrats show the type of leadership that understands the need to cut discretionary spending on unnecessary social programs in order to meet our common infrastructure needs, or until Democrats show the courage to call for and implement privatization systems, our transportation infrastructure will continue to remain unimproved, and the oft-raided Transportation Trust Fund will continue to dwindle....
More below the fold.