Friday, March 01, 2013

Star Editors Once Again Pining For Mass Transit

Another day and another editorial by the Star's editors telling us that they know what's best for us: higher taxes for a metropolitan mass transit system that is designed to line the pockets of the pay-to-play contractors--the only voices the editors seem to listen to these days. Perhaps that's because the Star's top local executive, Karen Crotchfelt, sits on the board of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, a nonprofit funded with taxpayer dollars that is behind much of the corporate welfare and self-dealing that permeates government in Central Indiana. As far as the CICP is concerned, it is a role of government to be the sole arbiter of winner and losers.

The editors have nothing but laudatory words for the House because it passed the mass transit legislation, and it's now setting its sights on the Indiana Senate against which it is launching a verbal offensive. It blames Senate President Sen. David Long and Sen. Luke Kenley for "two years of frustrating obstructionism" to pressure them into jumping aboard their self-dealing scheming. According to the editors, everyone who matters supports their mass transit plan--"local public officials, social services providers, clergy and House members across the public spectrum." What they don't tell you is the payoffs that are taking place to get that support. Even IndyCAN, the so-called clergy backing the legislation, got a big payoff from a local charitable group controlled by lobbyists for the mass transit, to use their churches for lobbying purposes. If you belong to a local Catholic church, you may want to tell your priest to focus on ministering to the faithful and to keep his nose out of government taxing and spending matters since a number of local parish priests seem to think that lobbying for mass transit is part of their ministerial duties.

To assuage concerns that metropolitan mass transit is going to turn into another boondoggle, the editors tell us that the rail segment "is not locked into the plans." Uh, the only people who get to decide that matter are the unelected, unaccountable board members handpicked by the pay-to-play contractors who are are already divvying up he contracts for this multi-billion dollar public works project. Once the law is in place and the taxes are in place, the unelected board can do what it damn well pleases with out taxpayer dollars and the people will have no voice in the matter no matter how much is may cost. If they make decisions that force future tax increases, which occurs with virtually every major metropolitan mass transit system in this country, you're stuck with the consequences.

And please spare us the crap of being of a metropolitan area "that aspires to be world-class but offers its workforce and visitors the nation's weakest public transit system." Every time these eggheads tell us we have to raise our taxes, they always roll out the "world-class" meme. It's getting a little old. The fact is that people move out of the inner city because the taxes, crime and schools aren't attractive. The jobs are going to the suburbs because life is more attractive there to them and that's where the jobs are being created. Fewer and fewer jobs are being created within the city. Those few jobs that are being created within the urban core come at a high cost. Local officials hand out hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives and direct grants to coax businesses to local inside the I-465 beltway, a move that simply shifts the tax burden to the shrinking number of people who choose to live in the inner city.


Unigov said...

There's a question I've thought about a lot recently - what is a "world-class city" ? It can't have anything to do with stadiums or airports, because we have brand new examples of those. I've come to believe that as the phrase is generally used, it's a meaningless rallying cry for raising taxes.

If one believes as I do that (a) society is superior to government and (b) humans have rights by being human, rather than those rights being granted by government, then a "world-class" designation must be a function of society in general...or the combined culture of a place.

With this back-to-basics mindset,a world-class city would be one in which (a) basic human needs are provided for anyone truly in need and (b) there's no crime of any kind (c) people are safe from attack.

Basic human needs include shelter, clothing, food, water, and medical care. To the extent possible society should provide those to people who cannot gain them on their own. This includes people with serious handicaps, medical conditions, children, the elderly, and those in prison. The shelter and food must be enough to live a healthy life, but no more. Shelter means the minimum space needed to live healthy, but no more. Medical care imo means free care, at the same level received by the president of the US.

"No crime" means safe streets as well as locking up bankers and fraudsters.

"Safe from attack" refers to military invasion, environmental harm, disease.

Government is the means society creates to meet these three goals. Anything government does beyond meeting those goals is usually theft from taxpayers. Building NFL stadiums is a good example.

Unigov said...

Wow. It's living in North Korea. Especially the part about the referenda being absolutely fair.

NOBODY gets off the couch to vote against a referendum.