Government is innately wasteful. It’s a simple enough concept to understand really.
When a group of people are not accountable for the money they spend there is no incentive to spend that money wisely.
While a simple concept, bureaucrats and politicians routinely show they cannot comprehend it.
Take the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) and TransLink. These two thoroughly unaccountable groups continually waste millions and millions of dollars doing God knows what and for what reason. What is unassailable is that they waste money like there’s no tomorrow. TransLink, for example, continually runs deficits despite never actually paying attention to what commuters in the Greater Vancouver area want.
That would be roads that make commuting faster and more sensible, just in case anyone cares, not bicycle lanes on the Burrard Street Bridge.
No, bicycle lanes are mandatory not so much because cyclists demand them, but because TransLink signed on to the Seville Charter, an agreement that requires cities to make “transportation networks more conducive to cycling.”
The document aimed at the national and transnational level underlining the benefits of cycling as a daily mode of transport, citing improved health, reduced traffic congestion, significantly cheaper infrastructure, and lowered transport emissions among many other advantages.
Stripped of its politically-correct double-speak, what that means is simply social re-engineering, or making we mere citizens do what “our betters” want us to do.
Forget the notion that cars make up the overwhelming majority of transportation on our roads and bridges. That’s irrelevant, since the overriding thought of these unelected bureaucrats is that people shouldn’t be driving cars in the first place. It’s unhealthy according to them so we must be moved out of our cars, no matter what.
The latest strategy by these social engineering buffoons is to add ANOTHER tax onto those evil people who still dare drive a vehicle on public roads called “Road Pricing”.
Essentially this plan is being proposed for two reasons. First, as I have already mentioned, is the social engineering they deem necessary, and second, as a way of generating more revenue to do what they’ve already taxed us to death on: mass transit.
The GVRD already taxes vehicle drivers 15 cents per liter of gasoline to pay for these programs, whether we use them or not. They already have in place additional taxes on property and land grants that allow them to charge a premium for parking when using the transit system, yet the still do not have enough money for their grand schemes.
Shocking, isn’t it? Okay, no it’s not even remotely shocking. It’s typical of the bureaucratic mindset.
“We’ll just raise taxes to cover the shortfall.”
Since the GVRD and TransLink are unaccountable to anyone and spend money like it’s rain falling from the sky, they naturally need more money since the millions they already steal from British Columbians is not enough to cover their wasteful spending.
“Road Pricing” is their latest scheme that would require every single vehicle to be equipped with a GPS transponder so government would know where your vehicle is at all times. Whenever your vehicle crosses an arbitrary border or travels on a road they deem “taxable”, you would be sent a bill.
They conveniently forget that the gasoline tax and the special addition to our property tax is already in place and was supposed to pay for these agencies.
Let me say that again. These agencies have already added taxes on gas and property to cover their expenses.
They are so inept at managing their resources, however, that they must now pass an additional tax scheme that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to implement, not to mention create another layer of bureaucracy to track every vehicle, and therefor every person, in the Lower Mainland.
Setting aside the obvious privacy considerations that should mean an automatic “NO!” be screamed by every single British Columbian, these bureaucrats want to be paid twice for the work they didn’t do the first time.
How typical. How predictable.
Frank Hilliard made some interesting points recently in his article “Road Pricing Needs to be Strangled at Birth“.
OK, now why is all this extremely dangerous, anti-democratic and anti-libertarian? It’s dangerous because this system will allow the government to monitor the movement of everyone in the area. No matter where you go, what you do, who you see; everything will go into a giant database. All the personal freedoms we now enjoy will go out the window.
Secondly, every road regulation you break will be automatically recorded. If you’ve ever checked your speed against a GPS (and who hasn’t) you know it’s almost impossible to not break the speed limit even if you’re trying hard to comply (and who is). This means that instead of just taxing you for the kilometers you’re traveling, they’ll be able to fine you for EVERY little infraction you made along the way.
And thirdly, the basic idea is anti democratic. Why should car drivers be asked to pay for bus riders anyway? If car drivers wanted to ride the bus, they would! If they wanted to pay for a Translink pass, they would. The fact is car owners want to use their cars, not the local bus system.
This is what so infuriates urban planners, politicians and cultural Marxists. The private automobile gives people a freedom they NEVER had before it arrived. They want to shut that down and go back to the 1890’s when you had to take mass transportation if you wanted to travel.
They want control. Road pricing is all about control.
We need to kill this monster in its crib before it gets out, grows up and ends Canadian liberties.