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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Studied to Death

It was one of the funniest pictures ever and it came from, who else,
but the Clown Prince of Michigan politics, one L. Brooks Patterson. In
the midst of one of the state's worst pot holes seasons, (are there
every any good seasons?) Patterson and others were pressuring then Gov.
John Engler to pass a gas tax increase.
Everyone, except the humorless governor, laughed out loud when
Patterson appeared, standing shoulder deep in a man hole which looked
like a pot hole. The above the fold pic got everyone's attention
including Big John.
Eventually Engler caved and that was the last time the gas tax was
So here we go again…another spring, another batch of axle breaking
pot holes and what are lawmakers doing?
The usual: forming a study committee to look at the alternatives.
Rep. Paul Opsommer (R-DeWitt) chairs the House Transportation
committee and was beside himself the other day when he created a
bi-partisan committee to check all this stuff out.
Wow. This was just great he puffed.
Hey gang. It's a one day study. Pick a road; drive on it and
reach your conclusion. End of report.
Now you could argue that perhaps we should look before we leap into
a road revenue plan that may not work.
But just last year, another commission did just that and that
document gathers dust while a new group begins the same assignment with
the same conclusion: We need more moola.
When in doubt, form a study panel. It helps to give the illusion
that legislators are doing something when in fact they are just
delaying the obvious.
In its defense the Snyder administration has hatch a unique
semi-solution using Canadian money to fill in Michigan pot holes but to
get that, the governor needs lawmakers to sign off on a new bridge
between Detroit and Windsor.
Lawmakers are balking at that, too.
If you want good roads, someone has to pay for them with money from
Maybe they could charge each car an admission price to enter each
Mr. Patterson could administer it.


Blogger Chromex said...

It would not matter if we raised revenue sufficient to produce the equivalent of "gold-plated road care"-the same potholes would appear this time of year. It would also not matter if we doubled the gas tax. The same lobbyists would still pronounce the urgency of the situation and say that there were 2 gazillion dollars in "unmet needs". Wise up.

March 17, 2011 at 6:20 AM 

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