Zen and the Art of Parachute Jumping

| January 6, 2011

I wonder.

If politicians, wearing government-issue parachutes,  jumped out of airplanes (or were pushed, remember they’re politicians) and decided not to deploy the chute to show their voting constituents how reluctant they are to waste taxpayer dollars (remember, they’re politicians) would they pull the rip-chord when the ground got dangerously close?  You bet your (fill in the blank) they would.

So would those same politicians, having told those same voters that they are going to do everything they can to spend as few taxpayer dollars as they can change their minds when they see highways and bridges crumbling dangerously?  Well, no.The difference seems to be that in this case its not their hide that is in danger its ours.

Look at this example: this time it’s Texas, but you can pick virtually any state, and of course you can pick the entire country, and its the same story. Everybody is talking about the urgency of funding bridge and road work but it is just not happening. With an increase in fuel taxes taken off the table there is no way to find enough money to fund all the work that must be done because no alternative will provide enough. A fuel tax hike would provide money that could be dedicated solely to road and bridge work. It’s a parachute. Use it.

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