Monday, March 27, 2006

The End of Roads--or The Sky Is Falling!!!!

Yup. In only 10 years or so, you'll have to walk to Green Bay:

If the overall funding problem isn't fixed, Gottlieb added, the Department of Transportation won't have enough cash to rebuild worn Milwaukee-area freeways - a project that could eventually cost up to $6 billion.

But legislators from rural areas also are worried.

"If government can't provide basic (transportation) services, what good is it?" said Sen. Russ Decker (D-Schofield), also a member of the new Committee on Transportation Needs and Financing.

But wait! A Knight in Shining Armor is Here!!

"There's a crisis," said state Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi. "The Legislature is going to have to come up with a way to pay for this; we'll tell them what the needs are."

DOT's lost its supply of heroin and now demands methadone.

A record $310 million from the transportation fund will be siphoned off in the current two-year budget to make payments on loans taken out to avoid cuts in spending on highways and public schools.

(That "public schools" line is sorta buried deep, eh?)

Doyle recommended raising registration fees for vehicles from $55 to $65 last year, but the Legislature rejected the idea. All of Wisconsin's neighbors have higher fees, according to figures compiled by the DOT last year. In Iowa, they can run nearly four times as much, according to the DOT figures.

Uh, yeah..but where's Iowa in TOTAL TAXES/CAPITA?

This is only the first of several End Of The World As We Know It stories which will emerge in the next several months. Busalacchi and the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Ass'n are now praying for a few potholes-which-swallowed-entire-school busses--makes great TV.

Keep your wallet securely fastened. Sharpen up the tines on your pitchfork.

8 comments:

Jake said...

Why do you Roman Catholic guys hate public schools so much. I am sure your Pope would not approve.

In much of Europe, there are very few private schools. All schools (religious or not) are paid by the government all the way through college.

The teachers in Europe are paid about the same as they are here. However, the special needs kids are shipped to special schoools. Without the special needs kids school teachers in Europe have an easier job at the same pay.

So if you going to trash public schools then don't pretend to be either a good Catholic or a good Lutheran for you are neither.

Dad29 said...

Ummmnnnhh....

What are you yapping about, "jake?"

$400++million was stolen from the transportation fund--and the transportation fund is the focus of the article.

Doesn't make any difference to ME where the money went.

By the way, "jake," I have had children in the public schools for over 10 years.

Jake said...

I never understood why so many claim that money was "stolen". It is like some crime has been committed and yet what was done was perfectly legal. Doyle's choice was either to fund public schools from the bloated state budget (which includes transportation dollars) or line item veto a ridiculous budget bill sent to him by the legislators and essentially raise everyone's property taxes. I guess I would go with setting priorities for the spending of funds in the bloated state budget.

My point is that you are a big supporter of private school vouchers and in general Catholic issues, yet you complain about a fund transfer which helps feed the funding of both public and private schools. Private schools in Milwaukee have gained substantially during this time while public schools have suffered. I seldom hear the right wing bloggers, the catholic and lutheran school advocates, Libertarian Republicans or their leader Scot Jensen, say anything but negative things about public schools while they carry the banner high for private school vouchers. You worry about taxes for roads and claim money is being "stolen" for public schools. This emotional propaganda is harmful to our community and the image of Wisconsin. Lower taxes yes but through cutting things in Madison, like the Jensen staff workers that are being paid for doing nothing right now.

Dad29 said...

The money was stolen, plain and simple. It was paid INTO the transport fund by taxpayers through the fuel tax. It was paid FOR highway m/t and building. It was NOT put there for schools.

As to Choice: I am one of two bloggers I know who prefers that choice be statewide, no holds barred. No "residency" requirements, no "pre-existing conditions." Just send the $6K/kid to each private OR PUBLIC or VIRTUAL or CHARTER school out there, pinned to the shirt of the student.

That will reduce taxes, my man. And you know what? It won't appreciably change the ratio of kids in private/public/virtual/charter schools.

Jacob said...

Iowa has budget problems as well, but the Highway Fund is rather sacrosanct and thanks to the gasoline tax, it is nearly always full.

That's why we have the best roads anywhere. :D

Jake said...

OK - thanks for making your position clear. Public money should not be used for private schools. I accept some exceptions like Milwaukee and maybe to help high achieving HS grads attend in-state private colleges but beyond that I have my doubts.

If the state was to send everyone $6000 per kid, I wonder where that money would come from. Should school districts that spend $14,000 per kid get $6000 per kid in state aid when they now get almost no state aid because the district spends way more than anyone else per kid (Whitefish Bay, Elmbrook, New Berlin all get far less than $6000 per kid).

Your proposal sounds simple and excuse the slam but is also simple minded. School funding is a mess and our do nothing legislators are doing nothing to address this problem. They hand the Governor a bill he can not sign expecting him to push the burden of school funding on to local Property Taxpayers like you and me. I am glad he said thanks but no thanks.

Peter said...

There is no such thing as "public money." The government has no legitimate claim on one dime of my money. Or your money.

There is nothing wrong with allowing the taxpayer to keep what is rightfully theirs to begin with and decide how to spend it.

The economic ignorance in this country is amazing.

Peter said...

By the way, "government" doesn't pay for anything ... I pay for it. So do you.