Thursday, October 15, 2015

It's official: Highway-government complex runs Wisconsin

What an historic demonstration of hypocrisy in Wisconsin:

Our purportedly conservative leaders, after years of swearing allegiance to austerity and small government, and who have had no problems denying Medicaid to thousands of citizens already saddled with poverty, and cutting money not fully replaced from schools while also removing hundreds of millions of dollars from higher education, and reducing food stamp aid or other benefits to low-income residents - - and who will not fund basic road maintenance or pothole repairs, or rationally confront the self-inflicted contradictions in a bloated menu of big highway projects - - have nonetheless just rubber-stamped through a kangaroo committee vote the appropriation of $177 million (before borrowing interest charges) of public dollars for palatial new digs where bureaucrats and their road-builder allies will 'manage' billions more taxpayer dollars into the future for more overbuilt highway lanes and ramps.

This, mind you, in an era when the two biggest populations groups among us - - aging boomers and urban-by-choice millennials (not to mention people across the spectrum who rely in transit out of need or choice) - - want but cannot get the very energy-efficient and ctraffic-busting bus and rail transit options which recent budgets in Wisconsin intentionally starve as the state Department of Transportation keeps embracing highways, not "transportation," broadly and fully and fairly defined and financed. 

The restrain-spending, reduce-the-size-of-government crowd is opting to borrow heavily and literally make government bigger, and the resulting product of this edifice complex will be used to hatch and launch even more big project excess - - all with other people's money.

The Wisconsin State Journal captures the capture and surrender of conservatives unwilling or unable to limit the reach of the highway-government complex's grasp of taxpayer dollars:
Rep. Dean Knudson, R-Hudson, said he cast a reluctant vote in favor of the project, which he described "as a nine-story testament to that simple fact that no matter how hard we try, no matter what we think of it, government tends to grow."
More of that sentiment in the Journal Sentinel:
Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) cast the lone no vote, but did not say why she opposed the sale. Two other Republicans said they struggled with the vote because of the cost of the overall project, but ultimately decided to support it…. 
"This is really in the best long-term interest in the state but, boy, it's difficult to vote for, I tell you," said Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson)... 
"My jaw drops when I see how much money it is," Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) said of the project, but added he supported it because of a cost-benefit analysis by Robert W. Baird & Co. of Milwaukee.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Also today, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee launched the WISDOT Audit with a scope statement not much different than the last audit. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results...