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More Tea (Party)

September 21, 2011

CCTGirl might be upset with me since I am writing something about the Tea Party being against TSPLOST, but hopefully she will forgive me.  She made a great point as to why are news organizations covering their stance on TSPLOST as if it were some recently discovered revelation.  She is right, it’s not.  But the problem with the Tea Party is they are like that bratty kid in the shopping mall that didn’t get want they want.  They are wrong, they know their reasoning is wrong, but they figure if they kick and scream loud enough, someone will think they are right or their parents will give into them.  And sadly enough, their screaming has gotten so loud, that there are plenty of people who do think they are right.  So here I am.  I won’t kick and scream though, I will attempt to be that reasonable parent who sternly says you are wrong here is why, and your behavior is embarrassing.

And that is exactly what it is.  The Tea Party behavior is embarrassing, contradictory, and horribly misguided.  I would like to believe CCTGirl’s statement that the Tea Party is against TSPLOST on the basis that it is a tax, and that regardless how the tax is used they would be against it.  But I can’t.  I have tried, but the more of their garbage that I read it is clear that it is transit related and it’s more than just a scapegoat.  Why else would they lead off with how they are against it because it is a tax, but use every inch of supporting argument as anti transit?  If they were really trying to make a case and a fiscally responsible, anti-tax awakening to the region they would protest the excessive tax money used to support roads and airports.  But the fact of the matter is, for all of the foundations of the Tea Party (some of which overlap into conservative territory) that are not transit related: lower or no taxes, limited government involvement, fiscal responsibility; they are a contradictory group of people that protest what is convenient for them.

Less government, government should be as limited as possible. 

Sure, unless it comes to telling people who they can and cannot marry, what women should do with their own bodies, and supporting a presidential candidate who thinks she can use government strong arming and intervention to provide $2.00 a gallon gas.  But hey other than the things that they specifically want the government better stay out of the way and focus more on…..

Fiscal Responsibility

I am all about a balanced budget, but please find me something that is less fiscally responsible then the expenditures wasted on personal transportation.   Someone give me an example of what can be more fiscally irresponsible then the constant dumping of money into roadways and interstates that provides not a single drop of revenue in return.  What can be more fiscally irresponsible and inefficient than the 25% of personal income that most people waste for an object that spends more than 90% of its time not doing what it was invented for?  Don’t believe me, even if you spend 4 hours of your day in your car that is still only 83% of the day and given all the Range and Land Rovers in this city it’s probably more than 25% of most Atlantan’s income.  If those same incomes weren’t dedicated in great amounts to personal transportation they would have more money to buy second iPads, iPhones, and other life essential items.  Or maybe they could save their money and utilize it in a financially responsible manner which would have helped us stay away from over extending ourselves on second mortgages and “recreational” vehicles (god forbid I drove the same car to work and for the night out).   Fiscally responsible?  Check with any school district and they will tell you the number one inefficiency and one of their largest expenses is the bussing of children.  But that’s right, education is on the chopping block anyways.  So just keep on…..

Lowering and Eliminating Taxes

Being that this is their main argument behind their party you would think they would have an understanding greater than that of high school economics student.  None of them seem to understand the consequences of their tax requests.  Cut revenue but I am sure they would be furious if they had no fire, police, or schools at their disposal.  I find it hard to believe that if we ended the gas taxes and their freeways went to crap that they commute on, they would just shrug their shoulders and be happy that they are paying less in taxes.  Sure, but they will be paying more to fix their cars that keep breaking on the road that would be crumbling beneath them.  But I am sure that their response is that the…..

Free Market Should Rule Everything

Great idea.  Let’s try that.  Let’s stop the gas tax, and stop funneling tax money into the upkeep in roads.  Then we can wait for a private company to come take over the building and maintaining of roads.  I am sure there would be thousands of businesses looking to get into the market of a service that produces no revenue.  Enron did it.  But being that it would be a free market, those private companies could charge the users for utilizing their privately run roads.  It would be like a toll, which no Tea Party member has ever oppos……..ohh wait that’s right, they threw a fit earlier in the year about the GA-400 toll.  The toll should have been stopped, that way GA-400 could start consuming a larger piece of road funding.  See fiscal responsibility.

The fact of the matter is that they argue what is convenient for them.  Such as rail makes us a terrorist target and if they attacked the system it would bring it to a halt.  No other mode of transportation has ever been shut down from a terrorist attack has there?  Well except for that 9/11 thing (never forget right?) and the last time I checked Hartsfield Jackson was adding new runways (ditto Charlotte Douglas, JFK, and Boston’s Logan) and millions of us were still flying with the only additional security being smoke and mirrors.  Not to mention that the past few attempts and threats at terrorism have come via car bombs (see this year’s 9/11 threats and the previous Times Square attempt).  But according to the Georgia Tea Bag Party Chairman “if the terrorists blow up a single bus, we can work around that.”  Great logic, I feel safer already.

Oh there are a whole host of issues that they love to bring up.  But at the end of the day we need to stop letting them dominate the conversation just because they are louder.  Maybe there wouldn’t be as many stories frustrating CCTGirl, and blood vessels in my head would stop protruding if we could thwart their ridiculous statements.  In the end reason trumps emotion.  Those that are pro transit, and when the TSPLOST list is final, pro TSPLOST, need to take a proactive approach by spreading informed, reasonable, and accurate information.  I would rather hear someone say they voted against TSPLOST “because it’s a tax” or that they felt the list didn’t make a big enough impact, then someone say “I voted against TSPLOST because it’s a tax in support of terrorist vulnerable, freedom robbing, financially irresponsibly transit” and then jump into their 0 mpg government bailed out Chevy Silverado to cruise down  sit on the 100% subsidized gridlocked freeway.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2011 5:40 am

    The tea party is a sign of weakness. The oil companies cannot stop the growth of public transit. They control congress, but are losing the people.
    http://bit.ly/qydAxg
    The critical mass tipping point will expose auto-system subsidy:
    http://bit.ly/qENuJJ

  2. Lars permalink
    October 4, 2011 10:28 pm

    I am not a tea party member and I find your post just a bunch of whining. The tea party is about fiscal responsibility, which just means that we can’t afford to do everything. Just because their priorities are different means they choose different items to fund and that does not make them idiots.
    I ride a commuter bus from OTP to downtown everyday and find it a great convenience but the main reason I ride it is because my employer pays for the bus pass (not having to transfer to another bus or train is 2nd). Soon my office will move to the Perimeter mall area and I’ll have to see if car or van pooling will work for me otherwise I’ll go back to driving everyday (which I did when I worked in Alpharetta). Giving more money to MARTA isn’t going to help my future commute.
    BTW, you seem to mix up religious conservatives with tea party conservatives which are not the same – they share many the same values but not all.

    • UrbanCommuter permalink*
      October 5, 2011 8:22 am

      Well first off, at no point in this post did I say give more money to MARTA specifically. (I am also trying to find where I supposedly used the word “idiot” as well). And a majority of the TSPLOST transit money will not go directly to MARTA. But it should be going to some form of transit. Maybe you didnt see the article the other day that outlined how Atlanta commutes are the longest (in terms of time) in the country. So clearly something has to be done and more roads or road widening isnt the solution. That has been the thought process for decades and it has not gotten us anywhere but stuck in more traffic.

      Secondly, if you think there is a dividing line between Tea Party Conservatives and religous conservatives I present to you Rick Perry, and raise you a Michelle Bachmann and throw in a Sarah Palin for good measures. (2 out of 3 of those which were measured in a poll as being the most representative of their party’s beliefs)

      Third, as pointed out in the post, if one is to be a fiscal conservative, then they would see the fiscal inefficienies presented by single person transportation (roads and cars). Being that the gas tax and other automobile related taxes do not cover the costs of roads, road maintenance, and road safety, one who is a fiscal conservative should be able to understand the basic principle that the so called “user fee” or taxes do not cover the operation of roads. That would equate to the definition of wanting or having something that we cant pay for. By not addressing or acknowledging that, then one is choosing to be selective on what fiscal items they choose to support; in other words, selecting what is most convienent. Dont believe me; when has any Tea Party member confronted the amount of money dumped into roads? They haven’t, but do you know what things they want to cut or cut out? Education, libraries, FEMA, transit, Public Housing, Pell Grants, Medicaid (not Medicare which is far more inefficient). You may call it different priorities, but choosing roads over schools, disaster recovery, affordable housing, college educations and health care, all things that they ironically don’t need or use within the confines that they are funded, is convienent. Ditto to the things that they believe should be left alone by the government that do not fit their religious conventions or how they interpret the constitution; key word being interpret.

      You may find this post to be a bunch of “whining” but someone has to point out the contradictions that many of these people represent, as well as show the misinformation and lies that are being spread about transit.

      • Dunwoody Deb permalink
        October 5, 2011 3:54 pm

        Bravo. Well said.

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