Thursday, September 17, 2009

Non Highway Users Anonymous

They can will it to be a user fee all they want, but it isn't. As an example, during my time in Austin I drove quite a bit around town if I wasn't on the #1, 5, 7 buses. But for the most part I wasn't on the highways. A little Mopac here, a little 183 there, but maybe twice a month during school if that. TxDOT and the MPO get back federal flex funds which they can use for lots of things. But it's not usually paying directly for what you're using that gas on most, those local roads.

Now it does come back to transit etc, but you're not paying directly for what you're using. I do pay a user fee now when I go over the bay bridge to my Gramma's house. And for the most part that $4 charge keeps me taking BART, which is faster anyway to downtown Oakland. But these tea party cries of socialism fall on deaf ears when you know these same people LOVE the socialism of roads. They even love the community good of transit. So much so that when it doesn't work, they get angry that government isn't doing a job they didn't fund it enough to do. Oh the irony.

13 comments:

Jon said...

its as bad as the "keep the guv'mint away from my medicare" cries of a few weeks ago. though i will say, at least the teabaggers are willing to use mass transit so at least they see a use for it.

i've never understood how certain libertarians can be so crazy about roads when it was the government spending on free public roads and bridges that single handedly put out of business private taxpaying companies providing transit, passenger rail and ferry service and damn near put the freight railroads out of business.

Justin said...

I realize just how much trouble the US was in when I heard the Medicare, and government comment. The Corporations, and the Cons are calling out the the crazies, and idiots to promote their agenda.

M1EK said...

Should've linked my Joe Urbanite example.

http://mdahmus.monkeysystems.com/blog/archives/000313.html

Where did you live when you were here anyways? Sounds like my 'hood (NUNA) but could be Hyde Park I guess.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Too many places maybe. At 38 and guadalupe. 32 and Guadalupe 32 and speedway. And another place off the 7 ona street called helms

M1EK said...

I am one lot in off Helms on 35th. That'd be off the #5 to be pedantic ;+)

Matt Fisher said...

Highways pay through with tax dollars and they claim that these "pay for themselves"? This sucks!

clever-title said...

Real libertarians (not the Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaughite Republicans) oppose road socialism, and believe roads should be privatized and compete with mass transit on a level field.
http://mises.org/store/product.aspx?ProductID=581

Jon said...

i realize beck/limbaugh/hannity arent libertarian, but what about the "autopian american dream" libertarian crowd that thinks public government roads are the work of the free market?

portland is getting back into this debate with the columbia river crossing now that the portland mayor has backed down on his support of the 12 lane bridge. its reawakened the portland (progressive, limit sprawl, toll the bridge, small bridge with bike/ped and transit) vs. vancouver wa (conservative, wide bridge, auto-centric, SOVs in their "HOG" lanes, no toll, sprawl loving) debate accusing the other side of being subsidized by the other side.

clever-title said...

In response to Jon...
If they're into socialized roads - they're not really all that libertarian.

Cato and Reason are called "regime libertarians" for their blind spots for those socialized programs (usually roads, military, and courts)

Libertarianism is transitional. If you apply it consistently, you wind up as an anarchist.

To some extent, there is logic to Tea-partiers being annoyed about a lack of service. If you're paying for the service through taxes, you expect it to work, even if you would rather it be eliminated (or at least unsubsidized). For example, you may consider Social Security a massive Ponzi scheme, and want the program eliminated, but if you have spent a lifetime contributing to it, you'll probably want the benefits you've paid for. Or you can be opposed to our military empire, but you might still expect the soldiers to be disciplined and well-equipped.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Oh I made a mistake. I lived in Harris off the number seven. The 32nd and Speedway place was also on Helms. I always mess up the Hs, and I was trying to type on my phone, probably not a good idea.

Andrew said...

There is an important civic value of the street infront of you residence being a commons, but at the same time railroads & transit need to be treat fairly as well.

Alon Levy said...

Real libertarians (not the Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaughite Republicans) oppose road socialism, and believe roads should be privatized and compete with mass transit on a level field.

Real Libertarians (tm) also believe that cops should be allowed to shoot anyone they believe to be a criminal, and that segregation was a humane system.

http://www.nationalreview.com/frum/frum031903.asp

Personally, I'd rather deal with the highway lobbyists of Reason than with the racists of the von Mises Institute.

clever-title said...

@Alon Levy
Libertarians are one of the few groups that are consistently place individual rights against government power; including opposing the ability for people in state-issued costumes from killing people with impunity, along with the state-imposed segregation laws. Citing David Frum's demands for more war against Muslims, doesn't make much of point.