The Wilmington StarNews Editorial Board shows us, again, the only way statists think about government projects: how to get more revenue. They don’t seem capable of accepting the necessary axiom: Keep spending in line with what the taxpaying public can forfeit from their earnings; and the corollary: There must be a limit. Statists almost always assume as “needed,” spending proposed by politicians, bureaucrats and advocates.
For example, in a recent editorial the Board states: “North Carolina has identified more than $50 billion in road construction and mass transit needs through 2024.” This sentence includes several questionable (and wrong) assumptions. (link)
No. 1: “North Carolina” doesn’t identify anything; bureaucrats and transportation interest groups came up with this figure. No. 2: No one can know what specific projects should have priority and will be actually needed in the next 12 years. No. 3: It’s virtually certain that this number includes many things that won’t be needed.
For instance, there is no need for mass transit. Central planners and environmentalists have convinced many gullible and compliant politicians to spend on these projects hoping to force us to change our chosen lifestyle as they wish it to be. Billions of dollars are wasted on useless transit schemes that few people want; and nobody “needs.”
Wilmington’s visionary, statist Mayor Bill Saffo says, “The issue is how do you pay for this stuff when nobody really wants to pay for it?” Brilliant. Still, Mr. Saffo knows how to get his “stuff”—increase taxes. But with this profound comment he admits that “nobody” agrees with him.
Clearly, Saffo doesn’t understand (or doesn’t care) that most everybody with common sense will agree to pay taxes for reasonable and real needs that serve the general public—with limits on what government should do. They don’t want to pay for wasteful projects, cronyism and to subsidize the wants of a few at their expense.
The Board tells us that future transportation wants come to $50 billion, but that revenue projections add up to only $12 billion. “Do the math,” they say.
I did the math: $50 billion minus $12 billion equals $38 billion. That’s the amount we may assume will be diverted to what we don’t need—and what “nobody” should have to pay for.Read full article » No Comments »
The StarNews editorial staff once again wonders into the world of static views in a dynamic environment on highway spending:
For a politician, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo did some pretty straight talking when he outlined the rock-and-a-hard-place transportation dilemma facing North Carolina. “The issue,” he said at a meeting this week with state officials, “is how do you pay for this stuff when nobody really wants to pay for it?” It’s the simple truth.
It may be a “simple truth” to them, but it neglects to mention the horrendous public relations nightmare DOT has with spending recently in Haywood County. The mayor and the StarNews are just plain wrong.
The June 29 report found poor management, cost overruns, questionable purchases, and possibly outright fraud in Division 14, primarily in its Haywood County operations. The division covers 10 Western North Carolina counties.
That’s just one division. The StarNews goes through taxes, toll roads and other reasons why road construction is underfunded, but never addresses that road construction should be a higher priority with the state. They also fail to mention that there is a great deal of potential waste, fraud and abuse in DOT. Here’s hoping the editors will realize that road construction is more complex than they portrayed. Also hopeful that the Mayor can see that as well.
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I’m reluctant to mention this for fear that the Wilmington City Council and Chamber might latch on to some new ordinance, but the City of Dunn is trying to stop baggy pants. (Note to Wilmington Council, some bars downtown actually have ABC nights, anything but clothing).
Councilman Robinson’s proposal would amend the city code to outlaw pants worn more than 3 inches below the waist. The council Tuesday night unanimously directed City Attorney Tilghman Pope to create an ordinance for the council to consider.
It’s interesting that nobody talks about WHY this is a fashion statement or that the citizens aren’t interesting in shaming the behavior rather than passing a new law.Read full article » No Comments »
The fountain at the intersection of 5th and Market has been hit seven times over the past ten years, over the past sixty, many more times. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent repairing it, but it’s an icon so it can’t be removed, or so they say!
It originally had a pool at street level, but that was removed in 1953, after the State Highway Commission asked the city to move the entire fountain.
Even in the 50s it was a traffic hazard and city leaders wouldn’t move it. It is an obstacle in the middle of a street and council is more fixated on the icon than the safety of motorists. Oh, and 1 in 5 miles of roads in Wilmington is considered unsatisfactory.
In 2005, the city paid $370,000, including a $250,000 donation, to rehabilitate the fountain. The repairs included stone restoration, cleaning and sealing cracks and repairing the plumbing and lighting.
And yet it STILL gets hit! It’s a fountain in the middle of one of the busiest streets in Wilmington. What’s the genius solution?
improve lighting at the intersection; change the pavement around the fountain with brick pavers or stamped asphalt; implement a road diet on Market Street between 16th and Third streets to create a one-lane roundabout around the fountain.
Road diet? Really? More lighting? Hmm. . . It never occurs to anyone that moving the fountain removes the problem completely! Again, public safety is secondary to public icons. Maybe we’ll have a new statue at the intersection of Oleander and College, it will surely get lots of attention!Read full article » No Comments »