Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I find this logic either amusing or irritating, depending on my mood. At the time I was irritated, but after visiting with friends I let it go.
Irritation returned this morning as I read the second in the StarTribune's full frontal assault on your wallet in the name of safety.
At what point did anyone discuss redistributing money to transportation from other parts of the budget? "Which ones?" you ask. Well, Phil Krinkie has an idea: Maybe we don't need to spend money on transit, particularly when you buy an 80 mile project but get a 40 mile project instead. Nicole Russell wonders about $50 million to provide security at the GOP Convention. Nice that Bemidji State gets some sugar for engineer and nurse training but could that money be better spent?
For MnDOT to keep pace with all statewide transportation needs from 2008 to 2030 -- including construction, safety projects, maintenance, and upgrades -- it would cost taxpayers $38.1 billion, according to MnDOT's most recent estimates.
But over that same time period, with current funding policy, MnDOT estimates that it will only have $14.5 billion.
McFarlin said MnDOT's fiscal 2008 budget is short at least $85 million for scheduled construction projects.
Every additional dollar spent on bridge repair, construction, or inspection has three sources: You can tax more; you can borrow more; or you can spend less somewhere else. Dropping any of those three from the equation means you are optimizing subject to NO budget constraint. This is the height of folly; you cannot run your own home buying more of X, Y and Z without at least considering if you could do without so much of A, B, or C. Neither can you run a government.