Friday, November 30, 2012

"Major" Part of Daniels' Legacy Experiencing Potholes

You remember that deal that leased the Indiana Toll Road to an out-of-the-country company for a cash payment? Yeah, that cash is just about gone.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Indiana is set to return funding levels for highways and bridges back to pre-Major Moves levels or 25 percent less than what its had. Oh yeah, and we still have like 94 years to go on that lease, so don't expect toll revenue in our lifetime.

Daniels clearly timed this so that the funding would run out after he left office leaving Governor-Elect Mike Pence and the Republicans in the Indiana House and Senate to deal with the impact of all the road and bridge do you maintain all these new and glorious roads. The shortfall could mean that Hoosiers will regressively pay more at the pump. That should make a lot of people happy.

While Mitch is riding his motorcycle around West Lafayette as President of Purdue, you’ll likely be paying more to ride yours or drive your car to vacation or to work or to school or to the grocery or to wherever you go. The Courier-Journal reports that one plan would index the tax so that it would rise and fall with the needs of highway repairs. That, of course, could be highway robbery when you think about it.  Higher gas prices mean higher food and goods prices which hits everyone in the wallet.

Daniels allies will likely point out that Major Moves has made a major difference in Indiana’s highway system by upgrading and modernizing quite a bit of it. That’s a good point, but, unfortunately, the money to maintain these nice new and modern roads seems to have exited stage right just behind Mitch’s Harley.

Each day, we read a new way Governor Daniels is sticking it to the state on his way out the door. Democrats tried to warn folks about this one back when it passed, but other lawmakers and supporters of the plan were too blinded with dollar signs to see that what was being built would cost millions more to maintain over time. It would be like re-sodding a 20-acre back yard. It looks great for a while until the drought comes. Then, the sod dies, and you have 20-acres of dust. 

Enjoy your potholes, Indiana.  Governor Daniels sure isn’t making many friends on the way out.


Indy Student said...

This is something I find quite funny when it comes to Daniels and Ballard. They use these mostly one-time money, typically from privatization efforts, and say these shouldn't be used to fund "ongoing expenses" and rather should be used for one-time projects. Last I checked, roads are ongoing projects. They require maintenance of one sort or another, sometimes more in one year or less in another, but still that need needs to be funded.

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't anyone trying to get money set aside in some kind of "Trust/Endowment" for future use?

I knew this was going to happen. All the politicians on both sides of the isle see is a pile of money that has to be spent now. No thought for future considerations is ever given.