Thursday, January 14, 2010

Well that's one philosophy

"The largest obstacle to solving our transportation needs is a philosophy, espoused by some, that it is always wrong to raise taxes or fees," Kaine said.
Spoken like a true Democrat.

I have another philosophy: how about keeping Virginia's infrastructure on par with economic development, instead of blowing every developer that comes into the state and wants to build a new sea of vinyl houses. That way, like in this county, instead of having the population increase by over fifty percent in twenty years while keeping the roads just as unfunded as always, you can actually re-pave old roads and build or widen new ones without having to cut lifelong resident's front yards right up to the porch just to keep enough road to allow traffic to move.

Which philosophy do you think is cheaper?

I swear, I just can't understand why politicians think that they can reap the rewards of explosive growth for years, and then bitch about not being able to raise taxes later to pay for their own mismanagement.

In the Marine Corps, we call the solution the 7 P's: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Let that soak in for a minute Governor.

Roads and other infrastructure should keep up with economic growth. When you have states that are growing extremely fast, you have to cut out some of the other shit from the budget to make up for it.

Like if I wanted to build an addition to my house for instance, and the estimated cost of such an endeavor is going to be $20,000, it would be stupid to continue spending money on a plastic yard gnome collection while telling my wife to get her ass to work for two more days a week to make up for the difference. It would also be smart to check to see if my electrical panel will be able to support the addition, and not just build it anyways and then notice "Awww damn! Every time I turn the light on in this place the kitchen stops working. It's going to cost a ton to fix that problem now! Honey! Call your work and tell them you need twice as many hours now! I fucked up, and you have to make up for it!"

Yeah, that's some philosophy. It doesn't surprise me at all to hear that you didn't fix the roads.

Kaine cautioned legislators that no state can maintain its economic edge with a declining infrastructure -- jammed roads that trap commuters in Washington, D.C.'s Virginia suburbs for hours each day, substandard bridges, rural roads that impede economic development and insufficient ability to evacuate the Hampton Roads region in an emergency.
Well, how did the roads get so jammed? You didn't fund them to keep up with growth, that's how. And I absolutely love the "rural roads that impede economic development." Thanks for that, you dick. So the beautiful backroads previously used by us hicks are getting in the way of your funding stream, ehh? They're all choked up with traffic from people who recently moved here from the gridlock nightmare of Maryland who are all still trying to drive fifty miles every morning and afternoon to get to DC where the money is? Than I guess I'm all selfish for bitching about what used to be a ten minute, four mile scenic drive into town to get some groceries is now a forty five minute, white-knuckle goat-rope crash fest just to get to the parking lot, to say nothing of the lines inside at the check out. Wouldn't want to spoil the economic edge, or get into the way of all those construction trucks heading toward the new CVS project right across the street from the old CVS!

I can't wait until my house is worth what I paid for it so that I can sell it and move to Wyoming. At this point, the only thing that makes my "historic" town historic is that you can go to the courthouse and see old pictures of it when it wasn't infested by the glowing lights of hundreds of thousands of cars making their daily journey to DC.



Anonymous said...

One thing you didn't mention about the "rural" road problem:

I found this out during the short time I was living with my brother in Middleburg and working in Chantilly.

Apparently many of the rich people who live in the rural areas out there (Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier counties and surrounding areas) don't WANT the roads to be developed because they fear that if road capacity is increased, more housing developments will encroach on "their" rural lifestyle.

Keep in mind that these aren't the farmers and residents that have lived there for generations...these are the people who've bought mansions out there in the past 10 or 20 years that simply don't want the hoi polloi out living among them. They've got theirs, they just don't want to share with the unwashed masses.

And so, they oppose any efforts to widen roads and increase capacity (as well as other methods such as preventing the subdivision of fields and woods into smaller lots and zoning restrictions). You'll notice that most of the rouds in those counties are nicely paved and well-maintained...they're just very small.

That's why. And these rich people who don't want you and me living out there with them donate LOTS of money to local and state politicians.

But to the main thrust of your post: Kaine can't figure out that it's not just that no one wants to pay for improvements. I think most people would be eager to pay their fair share if they believed that the money would be used wisely.

The problem is that the public (rightly in my opinion) perceives that we aren't getting our money's worth for the taxes we already pay...why should we pay more for the inept government to squander and waste? They need to get their house in order and demonstrate unequivocally that they are being good stewards of our money now before asking for more.

They can't do that because they AREN'T being good stewards of our money...and if they clean up their act and become so, they won't need more taxes to fund these types of projects.

Nancy R. said...

"Than I guess I'm all selfish for bitching about what used to be a ten minute, four mile scenic drive into town to get some groceries is now a forty five minute, white-knuckle goat-rope crash fest just to get to the parking lot, to say nothing of the lines inside at the check out."


Unknown said...

"don't WANT the roads to be developed because they fear that if road capacity is increased, more housing developments will encroach on "their" rural lifestyle."

Curt, your entire comment is right on the money, but this part stood out. I can understand their fears because the housing developments HAVE encroached on the rural lifestyle; although I have little sympathy for the rich people who have migrated here from wherever. I tend to side with the "woodsy" folk who have lived here there whole lives and are loosing their yards to VDOT to make way for rude DC commuters. Hell, at this point I don't even let other drivers over anymore unless they have six-digit VA tags! Fed. Up.

I'm torn about all this because the construction and development brings money and jobs; but like anything else in life, too much of anything is probably bad.

I used to love my hometown. I had places to hunt and fish; my community was flush with selfless people; every backroad was beautiful; and now, you can't even admire the last remaining fields on your way home from work lest you get run down by some hippie in a Prius doing 80mph down Rt 3. I've been in four accidents in one year!

Anonymous said...

I'm torn about it too. If I had owned a farmhouse in Loudoun county for 30 years and was having my rural lifestyle encroached upon, I'd be unhappy about it too...but the zoning and subdividing restrictions basically constitute a "taking".

If I can't make money on my farm any more for whatever reason, I know cannot get full value for my asset in the farm land because I can't sell it to developers. They're basically stealing my land's profit potential.

Also, by reducing the available land for development closer to DC...thereby artificially raising the costs of housing there, they are forcing lower income people farther and farther away.

That means MORE traffic, not less.

DC needs janitors and street sweepers and McDonald's employees, but none of them can afford to live anywhere near DC, unless they're satisfied with living in the high crime neighborhoods in the area. If they want a decent, affordable home in a safe area, they end up in West Virginia, driving 50 or 60 miles each way...and clogging up the roads all the way in between.

The only real solution is to do what both I and my brother ultimately did: get the heck out of there.

It's not going to get any better.

Unknown said...

Again, I totally agree with you. I am going to uproot at the soonest possible time. Unfortunately, we bought our house right before the bubble burst, so now we're stuck for awhile.