A little history of the growing push back against an out of control, debt ridden government that cannot bring itself to make rational, economically sensible decisions.
Tigard, OR – In a conversation on Saturday May 5th about Tigard’s initiative to require a vote on light rail expenditures, with Clackamas County activist Lauri Hein, Tigard City Councilwoman Gretchen Buehner said, “You will never get the signatures needed to put it on the ballot.” Buehner added, “If you do manage to get it on the ballot, I will make sure there is a companion measure to stop you.” Hein replied, “The Commissioners tried that in Clackamas County and we still beat them.”
Hein recognized the Cascade Policy Institute has concluded that lightrail is a colossal waste of money for a system that few people use. Noting that Buehner had been trying to get more bus service out to Tigard for 15 years, Hein observes, “If Tri-met doesn’t believe that adding buses would benefit Tigard why on earth would it make sense to sacrifice 99W for new lightrail lines?”
Art Crino, Chief Petitioner for the Tigard initiative, says, “The purpose of this effort is not to stop realistic transportation planning, but to let the people decide if light rail projects are appropriate when the costs and benefits are presented to a vote.” Crino added, “Councilwoman Buehner’s threat to mislead voters with a competing ballot measure is a ‘we know better’ attitude that demonstrates a complete lack of accountability to, and respect for, the people of the City of Tigard.
Background. Community activists in Southwest Washington County are engaged in a four-pronged effort to require a vote of the people before funds can be expended for any activities related to light rail. They are unhappy with the way TriMet and Metro are focusing on rail systems throughout the region when most voters would rather prioritize road improvements and maintenance. They intend to put any future use of city resources for light rail up to a public vote. The activists are tired of politicians treating citizens as obstacles who lack the judgment to make sound decisions about their own communities. Initiative petitions have been filed in four cities: Tigard, Tualatin, King City and Sherwood. In addition to Art Crino in Tigard, other chief petitioners are Aaron Crowley (Tualatin), Billie Reynolds (King City), and Doug Davina (Sherwood).
Light Rail vs. Bus
Only in Obama/Holder America.. the government picks and chooses which laws to enforce, and which to ignore. This is just one more example of the fraud within our government.
TOP TEN BEST REASONS TO BE AN UNACCOUNTABLE BUREAUCRAT AT THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION!
GSA Official Jeff Neely Says “Cheers!” GSA Official Jeff Neely Says “Cheers!” Life at the General Services Administration really isn’t so bad. Sure we’ve all heard about the taxpayer-funded Hawaiian vacations, wild parties and piles of free sushi, but nothing compares to your own boss telling Congress you are entitled to not only spend taxpayers’ money however you want, but get a big bonus for it!
“The senior executives were entitled to bonuses under our — we’re entitled to bonuses. I don’t believe the pay freeze affected those bonuses.” – Former GSA Administrator Martha Johnson
But that’s not all! Let’s take a look at some of the other perks unscrupulous bureaucrats are “entitled” to!
Receive almost $1 million to spend on a wild & crazy Vegas getaway
Build team camaraderie during multiple “dry run” Vegas planning trips
Earn thousands of dollars in bonus cash for party planning
Enjoy fabulous Hawaiian vacations at taxpayers’ expense
All-you-can-eat taxpayer-funded sushi
Host your very own hotel party at taxpayers’ expense for all of your agency and non-agency pals!
Use your acquisition skills to hire an outside event planner to do your work for you
Receive taxpayer-funded souvenirs for your hard work such as canteens, t-shirts, commemorative coins, yearbooks, and more.
Cultivate innovative team-building exercises like $75,000 bicycle-building projects
Ability to partake in uncommon business practices like criminal bribes and kickbacks…
We have a WINNER! There were many, many contenders.. all of them worthy of their regulatory “chops”.. but in the end.. only one regulatory roustabout could be deemed “Most Maddening”. Read all about it here!
Three years ago, TriMet began operating its first heavy rail line, the Westside Express Service (WES). This line runs from Beaverton to Wilsonville during commuting hours on weekdays.
WES was trumpeted as the “next big thing,” but opening year ridership averaged only 1,156 boardings per day, less than half the 2,500 predicted by TriMet. The agency lost nearly $24 on each trip.
TriMet just finished its third full year of operation for WES. Average daily ridership is up to 1,571 boardings, but each trip still requires a subsidy of $18. This is eight times higher than the subsidy needed for the average TriMet trip and costs taxpayers $7.4 million each year.
WES turned out to be a disaster, but no one at TriMet is accepting responsibility. Agency management simply plans to raise passenger fares again, and they also will be raising taxes on businesses.
TriMet board members are not elected, so we cannot demand a management change at the ballot box. But the board is appointed by the Governor, who is elected. It’s time for the Governor to demand better performance from his political appointees.
Why does our government insist on solutions to problems that are far more expensive than other solutions? It is almost universal.. when people spend money that is not their own, they simply make decisions as if.. well, someone else is paying the bill. Can we really afford to let these people legally rob the treasury for pet projects?
March 30, 2012 4:00 P.M.
He hates fossil fuel, and he hates success.
By Larry Kudlow
• 32044 followers
Obama talks energy policy in Maljamar, N.M., March 21, 2012.
As Ronald Reagan famously said, “There you go again.”
Of course, Reagan was blaming Jimmy Carter for launching false attacks during a debate. And that line was so effective, it not only helped Reagan win the debate, but a presidential election that would change American history.
But “there you go again” can apply equally to President Obama. Once again this week, the president was out on the campaign trail bashing and oil and gas companies. And he continued to spread major falsehoods about this industry, which I guess is the polite way to put it.
Obama is obsessed with oil and gas. He is a prisoner of the left-wing environmental groups. And really, he’s extending his leftist class-warfare attack from rich people to successful oil and gas producers.
What seems to have Obama especially steamed is the fact that the conventional-energy companies are profitable. Especially the five largest. So he wants to tax them. He then wants to redistribute their income to his favorite green-energy firms. Sound familiar? I don’t know which is more important to the president — the fact that he hates fossil fuel, or the fact that he hates success. Or that he wants an energy-entitlement state.
But here’s what I do know, factually.
Oil companies have an effective corporate tax rate well above 40 percent. And they operate within one of the highest-taxed industries in America. According to the Tax Foundation, for more than 25 years, oil and gas companies have sent more tax dollars to Washington and state capitals than they earned in profits. That’s a fact.
Single-handedly, oil and gas companies finance over 10 percent of non-defense discretionary spending within the U.S. budget. According to the Wall Street Journal, ExxonMobil, the world’s largest energy firm, paid out $59 billion in total U.S. taxes over the five years prior to 2010 while earning only $40.5 billion in domestic profits.
And Obama wants to raise taxes on conventional-energy firms by somewhere between $40 billion and $80 billion? Whatever happened to the supply-side principle that if you tax something more, you get less of it?
But with gasoline prices headed towards $5 a gallon, and with oil prices over $100 a barrel, virtually the whole country outside of the White House wants more oil, more retail gas for the pump, and more energy supplies everywhere in order to bring prices down. Raising taxes won’t do it.
Make no mistake about it: Fossil fuel is going to drive the American economy for decades to come. Green energy is not.
Obama’s other line of attack is that oil companies shouldn’t get any subsidies. They made too much money for that. Well, I’m against oil subsidies. There’s about $90 billion worth in the federal budget. Better to end them, slash corporate tax rates across the board, and let the free market decide energy policy and production.
But on the subject of subsidies, so-called renewable-energy subsidies (think Solyndra) are 49-times greater than fossil-fuel subsidies, according to studies by the Congressional Research Service. And the Congressional Budget Office says renewable green energy received 68 percent of energy-related tax preferences in fiscal year 2011, while fossil fuels got only 15 percent. Additionally, oil, natural gas, and coal received 64 cents per megawatt hour in subsidies, while wind power alone received $56.29 per megawatt hour. That’s 100-times what fossil fuels got.
By the way, the so-called subsidies that Obama is talking about are really depreciation write-offs for investment. Oil companies get a 6 percent deduction from income. Most manufacturing industries get 9 percent. And every company in the economy is eligible for faster investment write-offs.
Frankly, the most pro-growth corporate-tax policy would be 100 percent cash-expensing for new investment, a slashed corporate tax rate, and no more subsidies, preferences, and carve-outs. That would be an unbelievable job-creator.
But President Obama is too busy spewing falsehoods to support his ideological agenda than to take account of the facts. And while he’s at it, one of the greatest, pro-growth revolutions ever is taking place right under his nose. It’s the oil and gas shale miracle, which if left unfettered will turn America and Canada into an energy-independent New Middle East inside of ten years.
In fact, the collapse of natural-gas prices brought on by this revolution could become one of the biggest tax cuts for the economy in history, making all our industries vastly more competitive, revolutionizing transportation, and providing more consumer real income at home.
Obama should quit the demagoguery, stop bashing oil and gas, stop taxing success, and let our ingenious, creative, free-enterprise private economy spur America to a new generation of prosperity.
– Larry Kudlow, NRO’s economics editor, is host of CNBC’s The Kudlow Report and author of the daily web log, Kudlow’s Money Politic$.
The far left continues to villify success.. and fund crony insider deals with so called “green” fantasy enterprises with taxpayer money. Government has proven over and over that it should NOT be propping up industries. It’s futile, wasteful, corrupt, and exists only to line the pockets of the “insider” groups that owe special favors in return for the government class “largesse”. Solyndra like “investments” cannot make the point more clear that government is NOT a good steward of taxpayer money.. on so many levels.