The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Feb 6, 2008

Just What We Need

Take a moment and think about all of the governmental and quasi-governmental agencies that have the authority to directly take money from your pocket book. Let's see... right here in Albuquerque there's the state, county and the city. Then add APS, MRGCD, the Water Authority, and the Public Regulatory Commission. Those are just some of the more obvious ones.

Now if Albuquerque Representative Dan Silva gets his way we'll get to add the Rail Runner Transit District to the list. The district will have the authority to impose a gross receipts tax on the citizens of Belen, Los Lunas, Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Placitas, and Santa Fe in order to pay the $20 MILLION a year operating cost of the commuter train.
Silva told his House colleagues that if voters don't pass the tax, the state of New Mexico would have to look elsewhere— possibly to the state's road fund or general fund— to pay for the train's operations.
There are a couple of things here that bear considering. The first is that the state's road fund has already been raided to help pay for the Rail Runner. In fact, the state is close to $500 MILLION in the hole when it comes to road maintenance and repair.
Some estimates are that New Mexico is already half a billion dollars short of money for dozens of highway construction projects around the state, although state Transportation Secretary Rhonda Faught said the exact figure is unknown.
-ABQ Journal (Subscription)

The latest estimate for the Bernalillo-Santa Fe line is $259 million. An estimate published earlier this summer put the cost at $250 million.

The preliminary costs for the Rail Runner's new crossings on the Belen to Bernalillo portion of the train's route represent an additional expense to a project already estimated to cost more than $400 million.
When you think about it it's perfectly clear, the Rail Runner has cost at least $400 MILLION (probably closer to $500 MILLION) so far and now we've got close to a $500 MILLION shortfall in our transportation budget. A recent budget panel is recommending raising the state's gas tax which currently stands at 17 cents a gallon by 6% to pay for the roads whose funding went to the Rail Runner instead. (ABQ Journal - Subscription).

The second consideration is that we were never asked whether or not we wanted this Billion Dollar Boondoggle. According to the Journal it costs taxpayers $8 MILLION a year to run the State Employee / Tourist Transit Train that's in operation from Belen to Bernalillo. That number is expected to jump to $20 MILLION a year when the $259 MILLION (for now) Santa Fe extension is complete.

Silva would like to pay for this revenue sinkhole by creating a transit district with the authority to tax and to make matters worse, the power of eminent domain. They'll be empowered take both your money and your property to run a rail road that we didn't vote for, by a quasi-governmental board that we didn't approve, for state employees that will be forced to use the system (ABQ Journal - Subscription). If that weren't enough, we'll also get to pay a higher price at the pump to pay for the road work that should have been paid for by our current gas tax but went into the Rail Runner instead.

That's just what we need... Another government bully with the authority to steal our money and a track record of raiding funds that were already allocated for other uses.


Anonymous said...

Despite all the current BS. The Rail Runner (RR) should have been put into place between ABQ and Santa Fe years ago. Problem is, and Big Bill knew it, most of the land between here and Santa Fe is native land and that should have been negotiated up front. At one point that stretch of highway was rated one of the most deadly in the US. It still may be. So many people, workers and visitors, drive that route and would benefit from the train. There's no doubt we need the RR mass transit between ABQ and Santa Fe.

The only way the Gov (the my way or the highway guy) could shove it down our throats is to start with the Belen-Bernalillo train. That way how could we say no to it's continuation?

Lets take a poll! How many locals and tourist, that come from all over the world, can't wait to jump on the RR and get to Belen?

Anonymous said...

Quite the contrary...what should have been done years ago was putting in another lane in each direction to handle the traffic load. It could have been done quite easily within the existing right-of-way (no need to negotiate with all the "Soverign Nations" along the way).Worried that the median would be too narrow? Run a Jersey-Bounce wall to keep the head-ons to a minimum, ala US84/285 north of Santa Fe. That way, visitors (both indigenous and tourista), State workers, and other motorists could go direct to their intended destinations without having to consult train and bus schedules at either end (and I'm making quite a leap of faith that there would indeed be bus service).

But once again the socialists (oops, I mean "Democrats") have gotten their way by force-feeding the populus in general "mass-transit" because in their twisted, utopian ideal, mass-transit is good and private ownership of anything more capable than a bicycle is bad.

So the bottom line is, if you don't like paying for Government-provided things that you aren't likely to use, next time you show up to vote, check out what upper-case letter is next to the candidate of your choice. If it's a "D", pick the other guy!!!!