Buoyed by polling data that shows just how gullible the public is, the mayor has jumped into the well-orchestrated campaign to build momentum for a third half-cent sales tax to support public transit projects.
We’ve seen what a great job they’ve done with the previous two half-cent taxes: Congestion gets worse and worse. And the middle of a recession when people are losing their homes and their jobs and can’t afford $5 a gallon for gas or the soaring cost of food staples is a pretty poor time to add yet another tax on top of all the other fee and rate hikes already in place.
Of course, contractors and their agents will donate millions to the campaign — a small price to pay for billions in return.
That the mayor chose the subway to reveal he’s aboard this gravy train is interesting. My understanding has been they’ve come up with relatively small projects in every part of L.A. County to sucker the public in and then plan to use the money freed up elsewhere in the Metro budget to fund the “subway to the sea” — which is the real goal.
And that’s the problem. Subways are great but we can’t afford that now when there’s so many other needs to make this a great city. The Orange Line Busway in the Valley was
cheaper and faster to get running and ridership wildly exceeds all expectations.
Combining affordable solutions with tougher regulations on rush-hour truck traffic and requirements that large employers stagger working hours would get relief now and cost a lot less.
But solving the problem of congestion isn’t the goal; making the insiders richer is.