Friday, August 03, 2007

$1 Billion!

I had an interesting conversation yesterday. I was standing in line at the convenient store. The register had broken down so there was quite a line forming. Several folks were standing in front of me talking about the bridge collapse and how it relates to Wisconsin.

I listened to one gentleman as he spoke about “repugs” eliminating the automatic tax here in Wisconsin. As he was speaking, he spoke as if Wisconsin bridges were ready to collapse and if they did, it would be the fault of the “repugs” and their opposition to the automatic gas tax increases.

He continued about the new proposal by Governor Doyle to increase the taxes on the oil companies. Of course, the “repugs” were against this also.

Desperately wishing they would get the cash register fixed, I did the best I could to just ignore the gentleman. Finally, a guy behind me whispered- “I just put $57 in my gas tank and this clown thinks I should pay more.” I just smiled.

Finally, when I could not take it anymore, I looked at the gentleman and said “$1 billion”. What? I said it again, ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

Governor Doyle raided one billion dollars out of the transportation fund. Taxes, that Wisconsinites has already paid out of their pockets for the bridges and roads, the governor raided.

During the last budget cycle, Governor Doyle felt that there were higher priorities than spending the money on the safety of Wisconsin roads. Apparently, covering his tail with the teacher’s union was his highest priority. Most of that money went to WEAC.

The guy kind of sputtered when I said this. He did manage to say “that the money went to the schools.”

Okay- perhaps this is a good.

Today, governments in all 50 states are reviewing our safety policies when it comes to roadways and bridges. This is a good thing.

However, after this tragedy, it is time to really look a little deeper.

We have had this same debate repeatedly. Are we paying enough in taxes and is the government spending our money wisely.

Clearly, if there is a $1 billion surplus in the transportation fund, as we had a couple of year’s ago- government is charging plenty in taxes. We had the money for bridges and roadways. There was also an elaborate plan to fix and rebuild many of our current bridges and roadways.

Next question- is the government spending our money wisely?

Well, the transportation fund is now broke and we have a ton of work that still needs to get done. The governor had to have known that the money in the transportation fund would be needed for repairs and future work on new projects. He had to have known that the money should go to fixing our roads and bridges.

Hindsight is always 20/20.

Not one single penny should have ever been taken from the transportation fund.

As we all know- Wisconsinites pay plenty in taxes. Poor spending habits and poor planning by our governor may cost us a lot more in the future.

So, if you are wondering about a bridge or a roadway’s safety as you are driving over it, look no furhter than your own governor.

$1 Billion!

Of course, my new "friend", standing in line at the cash register, then proceeded to blame George Bush and the federal government.

My response: $5 Million

You could see the fellow rolling his eyes.

Yep- $5 million dollars worth of our federal taxes are being spent on one of the most hated modes of transportation in Kenosha. We call it the "trolley to nowhere".

$5 million additional federal tax dollars was given to our local government to pay for that ding-a-ling, drive around in circles, empty trolley system in downtown Kenosha. It benefits absolutely no one.(okay- maybe one or two people)

Yeah- this is how our federal tax dollars are being spent. Perhaps that $5 million could have been better spent.

Thank goodness, the register was finally fixed. My new "friend" and I gladly parted ways.

We still have the same problem we had a few days ago, before this tragedy. We still have a government who continues to make poor decisions with our tax dollars.

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