Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Major Moves: Republicans Construct While Democrats Destruct

As Republicans continue to approach Gov. Daniels' Major Moves program in a constructive fashion, the state's Democrats, who did absolutely nothing to advance our transportation system during their 16-year reign over state government, pursue their tired, worn out destructive approach.

Democrats instantly announced their opposition to Gov. Daniels' plan to finance major unmet transportation needs with a $3.8 billion privatization plan for the Indiana Toll Road, offering in its place a credit card approach with all the negatives such an approach implies and none of the benefits the Governor's plan promises. Faced with the obvious disparity between their program and the Governor's, they demand a delay until some point in the future.

Gov. Daniels' appropriately responded to former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill's unfounded accusation that Daniels was blackmailing legislators into supporting his Major Moves program. "(Hill) comes from the empty promises crowd," Daniels said in response according to the Star. "Delay is so often a disguise for defeating something."

Further showing their constructive approach to the issue, House Republicans today announced several positive changes they would make to Major Moves to address the valid concerns of lawmakers from northern Indiana. Those include the following:

  • Placing a 10-year freeze on tolls paid by local commuters.
  • Creating a regional economic development authority for northeastern Indiana.
  • Providing stronger legislative and public oversight over future highway leasing deals.

So how will the House Democrats respond to the Republicans' proposal? If the past is any indication, they will pick up their balls and go home--using the House's extraordinary majority requirement for a quorum to defeat legislative action by walking out.

The Democrats had their chance to make a difference at improving our poor transportation system. Instead, they delivered nothing but empty promises. It's time for them to give the Republicans a chance. If they care anything about the state's future, they will get out of its way.


Doug said...

The problem with "giving the Republicans their chance" is the time frame involved. If giving them a chance didn't involve being locked into their experiment for the next 75 years, I'd be more inclined to agree.

Secondly, the time and resources available to the legislature to study the proposal are inadequate. This may well be a good idea. But a short session is not the time for the legislature to perform its due diligence on this momentous proposal.

Obob said...

I enjoyed Mitch's comment on Baron Hill's inability to ever have a "real job."

Gary R. Welsh said...


I believe the Democrats don't want the Major Moves plan implemented before this year's election. There really is no rocket science behind his program. There are many legitimate questions that can be asked and answered and should be. It just appears to me the Democrats don't want to hear the truth, because any unbiased analysis shows a net benefit to the taxpayers. Instead of using the process to get those answers, they have immediately gone on the offensive to attempt to misinform and scare the public. That isn't being constructive, it is being destructive. This idea has been floated since Daniels took office--so it is not exactly a new idea. And if it is such a bad idea, why did Mayor Daley, a member of their own party, opt for this choice for the Chicago Skyway?

Jezebella said...

The numbers do not lie and they are saying...PLEASE lease the tollroad. I disagree with spending all of the proceeds of the deal in the first three years and instead would argue for allocating that money over the next 75 years.

You can read my analysis here.

The opinion of this lefty girl is that Democrats are doing themselves a disservice by poo-pooing this plan. If any political party wants to be trusted, they must establish themselves as people who like good ideas, even if those ideas are not their own. They must prove that they care about people, not partisanship.

Anonymous said...

Major Moves is a very bad idea and sadly it passed.

Any survey of drivers will easily show that toll stops are hated almost as much as road construction. So our governor wants to raise tolls 75-100% in 4 years and then at least 2% more every year thereafter for 71 more years.

Why not make government smaller and more efficient and eliminate the tolls altogether?

Daniels is big government at its worst. He is arrogant, non-transparent, and sold out to those who elected him.

Can we thrown out this idiot and his big brother Bush?