Our roads and bridges are crowded and in bad shape. There seems to be construction everywhere you drive, but for some reason the congestion never seems to get lighter. Every time our current elected officials talk about transportation and the state budget, there never seems to be enough money to fix the problems. If only they could eliminate the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. If only they could pass another tax increase. If only they could get approval for a multi-billion-dollar bond issue. If only… then all will be well on our roads. This is a classic, shameful and disrespectful tactic that government departments and agencies have used for as long as they have wanted more of your money. It actually has a name – the Washington Monument strategy.
Instead of shouting “if only” and then deliberating failing to meet your needs, I ask “what if”. The current State budget allocates $2.1 billion to the Department of Transportation. Analyzing the CDOT Transportation Deficit Report, it appears that $350-$375 million, or a little more than 1% of the total State budget, would allow for the proper expansion and maintenance of the transportation system. “What if” the State stops acting like a private equity investor with the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. “What if” the State stops funding research into cancer and cardiovascular disease, when there are other groups with greater resources and expertise working on those issues. “What if” we found another half dozen or so departments or projects that could be eliminated with minimal impact on you and the rest of our citizens and reallocated that money to the Department of Transportation. “What if” instead of saying “if only” your elected officials do the hard work and make the hard decisions to focus YOUR tax dollars on addressing issues that will directly improve YOUR life. That is what your elected officials should do. That is what I will fight to do for you.
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