Thursday, June 26, 2014

Me? I thought YOU were driving.


I don't know the "Who", but the "What" is pretty obvious.  This elderly couple turned a little (a lot?) too sharply and rolled their car.  They seemed to be taking it all in stride, however, and were quite happy to pose for the paparazzi. 

I see by their license plate they're from California, known for, among other things, their trendy fashions.  Always on fashion's cutting edge myself *, I wonder where I can get me some of those high-ridin' pants?  I remember as a teenager we wore "hip huggers".  I suppose this is one of those yin-yang things.


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It might be legal, but it sure doesn't seem right:  I heard yesterday that the authorities are considering taking a portion of Central Expressway, THE major north/south highway into downtown Dallas, and turning it into a toll road.  How can you ask drivers to pay for the construction of a new road, then when it's finished, tell them they'll have to pay AGAIN to drive on it?

The cost to drive on our Dallas area toll roads adds up quickly.  I calculate I spend well over $1000 a year in tolltag charges.  If you can't afford the tolls, for example, that means you can't drive on the road you paid to build.  You subsidized building a road for those who are affluent enough to pay tolls.  How is that fair?

This is one of those unintended consequences of mandating better gas mileage for cars.  Today we have more people driving more cars, necessitating more roads and more road maintenance, yet using less fuel.  And the funds to pay for new roads and their upkeep are paid for by the tax on each gallon of gas sold at the pump.  

That's why there are so many new toll roads being built, at least here in my area.   The conservative political mantra today is "cut taxes" when we don't even have enough gas tax revenue as it is to keep up with our current growth, much less the funds to maintain anything.

We're gonna pay for it one way or another, either in higher gas taxes or more tolls.  There's no free lunch, and there's no free ride, either.  I guess the Tea Party-types have their heads so far up their asses they can't see that.  Sheesh!

S

*sarcasm*


13 comments:

  1. The Tea Party does their part by driving Hummers, pickups, and other gas guzzlers.

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    1. I'm not sure they think that far ahead, Pat. All I've ever heard them say is "cut taxes" and "close the border". They seem to be a two-trick pony.

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  2. Clearly the Tea Party is responsible for all that doesn't work in the world...we get it Pat...dang!!

    If I want to drive to Brooklyn and back from NJ (like 30 miles round trip, with two bridges,) it costs $21.00.
    I agree that is not right and perhaps it should be subsidized by more fair means.

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    1. Seriously when was the last time you saw a Prius with a Tea Party sticker?

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    2. Play nice, Joe.

      Traditionally toll roads, at least around here, were handled by private concerns. They borrowed the money, built the road, then charged tolls in order to pay back their loan. No problem with that. But now they want the taxpayers to pay to build the road, then they want to charge them to drive on it once it opens. That just seems to me like a double dip. Double dips are good on ice cream cones, but not into my wallet.

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  3. We don't have toll roads here in Oregon---yet!

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    1. We have lots of them here, Steve, because our growth has been SO dramatic. As I said, our DOT doesn't have the money to build all the new roads needed so they're being built as toll roads instead. Why not just raise the gas tax to the level it needs to be to accommodate our growing population and stop charging tolls? IMO it just seems more fair.

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  4. Toll roads are being discussed in Germany. We pay Euro 1,51 for a litre of gas (today as it changes daily) and 51% of that is tax. The exchange rate (today) is $1.36 per Euro.

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  5. and there are 3.785 liters in a US gallon. So gas there is about UD $7.75 per US gallon.

    Seem to remember that is what it cost in Berlin, 13 years ago.

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  6. Those are some high pants on Gramps! I want the sandals, but I'd wear them with white socks. :-p

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  7. My wife asked me yesterday" you are not leaving the house dressed like that are you?". His wife must have forgot to ask.
    Lots of Toll roads in Fl.

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  8. We don't have any toll roads here, but we drive one in WV on our way to NC. They need the $ so I don't begrudge them (especially since I didn't help pay for the road!)

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