Mary Peters - Transportation Secretary (1 Viewer)

UncleTrvlingJim

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Just wanted to get a sampling of opinion here on Mary Peters, Bush's Transportation Secretary. I'm still reading up on her a bit, but it would appear that her opinion is that the government should not be in the business of infrastructure, but rather, roads and bridges should be built entirely by private companies and we should pay tolls for its use.

I tend to be a pretty small government kind of guy, but things like infrastructure, to me, seem like the very thing government is good for. IMO, I think the investment in infrastructure (and not just roads and highways and bridges, etc; but fiber optic cable and other means of distrubiting information) is well worth a national commitment.

Thoughts?
 
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UncleTrvlingJim

UncleTrvlingJim

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Oh - and if anyone cares to look at where I'm getting the information. There was a bipartisan federal commission set up to study the nations infrastructure and come up with a plan to address any problems, here is their website:

http://www.transportationfortomorrow.org/

They came up with a comprehensive 50 year plan, combining government and private industry to address the nations infrastructure's needs. Sounds good, but Mary Peter's was one of 3 commissioners who dissented on the plan -- here is her response:

http://www.transportationfortomorrow.org/final_report/pdf/volume_1_minority_views.pdf
 

staphory

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this months Car & Driver magazine had an interesting article written by Patrick Bedard where he was adressing the problems that come with privately held toll roads. Seems that the companies that do that sort of business like to insert nasty little "no compete" clauses.
In one city (Austin,TX I think.) the clause stipulated reduced speed limits and additional traffic control devices on an existing paralel road in an effort to make that road less attractive to those who didn't want to use the toll road. In California, one such clause did that and required that the existing road not be improved for several years. Some roads cost drivers $1.50 per mile to use.
 

blackadder

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Just wanted to get a sampling of opinion here on Mary Peters, Bush's Transportation Secretary. I'm still reading up on her a bit, but it would appear that her opinion is that the government should not be in the business of infrastructure, but rather, roads and bridges should be built entirely by private companies and we should pay tolls for its use.

I tend to be a pretty small government kind of guy, but things like infrastructure, to me, seem like the very thing government is good for. IMO, I think the investment in infrastructure (and not just roads and highways and bridges, etc; but fiber optic cable and other means of distrubiting information) is well worth a national commitment.

Thoughts?
I disagree with her and agree with you. Public infrastructure is one of the basics that I do believe government should do.

What is "government" in our system?

It's supposed to be "us" -- our collective will and our taxes employed to address common problems. Roads, canals, levees, port facilities and other basic infrastructure are the foundation for an economy. We all pay, we all benefit.

Infrastructure, education, defense, enforcement of property rights, and a few other things I could compromise on are the fundamentals of why people organize public authority for the common benefit.

The market fundamentalists who want to privatize EVERYTHING are as nutty as any kind of rigid fundamentalist.

Hell, roads and other basic infrastructure, which -- outside the interstate system -- is supposed to be more a local or state responsibility, are about the only areas where I get an actual tangible benefit from the taxes and fees I pay. Otherwise my tax dollars mostly disappear into graft and the military industrial complex, unless I make an effort to visit National Parks often. I see almost nothing of that money that directly improves the quality of my life.
 
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SoonerJim

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Reason magazine put out a book two years ago addressing the use of toll roads to alleviate traffic congestion, including "peak use" time charge increases. the system does work, but flies in the face of egalitarianism.
 

blackadder

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Reason magazine put out a book two years ago addressing the use of toll roads to alleviate traffic congestion, including "peak use" time charge increases. the system does work, but flies in the face of egalitarianism.
Again, there is a lot of room to work between a purpose built toll road and privatizing ALL transportation infrastructure.
 

City Champ

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the only thing the gubment should provide is a military and infrastructure. everything else should be at the state level...
my .02
 

LSSpam

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Article I, Section 8, Clause 3:
The Congress shall have power . . . To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

Facilitating inter-state commerce is a core function of the Federal Government. This, of course, directly applies to interstate infrastructure like airlines/airports, seaports/shipping lanes, railroad, and interstate highways.

It's really a no-brainer and has been held up in Supreme Court rulings for over 200 hundred years.
 
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UncleTrvlingJim

UncleTrvlingJim

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Reason magazine put out a book two years ago addressing the use of toll roads to alleviate traffic congestion, including "peak use" time charge increases. the system does work, but flies in the face of egalitarianism.
I don't think the question is whether or not toll roads or "Lexus lanes", etc work -- they do, and I think they should be a part of any smart city planning. The question is should this be the only provider for roads and bridges in the US.
 

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