4/24/2008

CorridorWatch Responds to Governor Rick Perry's Speech

by David Stall, CorridorWatch.org

Today Governor Perry used the podium at a TxDOT conference to deliver a verbal assault on the Texas Legislature and every citizen of Texas.

We can certainly agree that the last few years have been challenging times at TxDOT. Finally, TxDOT is in the public eye, and the result so far has been a real poke in the eye to anyone looking.

The heat TxDOT receives today is the direct result of the direction they have been forced to take by two powerful men, Governor Rick Perry and his late best friend Ric Williamson. It is their planning, not TxDOT's, that has people puzzled.

It is their insistence that a projected population growth somehow justifies anything they want to do, anywhere they want to do it, using any financial scheme available.

It's building roads from where no one lives to where no one works that leaves us puzzled.

No matter how many Aggies you put in Kyle Field you still don't need a 1/4-mile wide Trans Texas Corridor in Pecos County.

Yes, companies are moving to Texas in droves, but will they continue to find our state as inviting when the toll cost of driving to work or moving their goods to market skyrockets? Texas is a big state and tolls here will add up to big money in a big hurry.

Perry accuses the legislature of abdicating their responsibility when in fact they are among the few who are acting responsibly.

We believe the Governor's headlong rush to public-private partnerships could lead to disaster.

Wall Street firms are just now starting to describe these deals as financially-engineered infrastructure models that should raise great concern. We agree. Does anyone remember the marvelous financial model that led to the rise and fall of Enron?

Today Perry described this private financing as something that you would have thought too good to be true. Then claims, "But it is true." Really? And if Texas is such a powerhouse economy why is it that the only way we can afford to build highways is with one of these private partners?

We have not lost sight of the facts, even though they are hard to find among the something for nothing public-private partnership rhetoric. And when was there ever any honest debate to stifle? When was there any debate?

One thing we know for sure is that market-driven solutions will, by design, produce the highest possible tolls to maximize revenue. A good deal if your on the collection side of these state sanctioned monopolies. Not so good for the travelling public and those who will pay the added cost for goods and services using these maximized toll roads.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only thing good for the market is a light rail with wireless internet and other goodies to lure us away from our cars and make our lives more efficient. Work while commuting. Although the Leander rail was over budget and the rail cars cost 1 million a piece, there's a clear benefit to this. We will have rail. And there will be wireless internet. And those who work near the rail will be able to earn extra money on the commute to work and drive the economy. In contrast, $7 million was spent on toll road advertising. That got us nothing- a few worthless misleading pictures and sound coming out of our TVs for 30 seconds. Nothing of use at all.

Anonymous said...

Texas's self-appointed "King Dick #1" (govern by edict) PERRY WARRANTS IMPEACHMENT sooner rather than later and have Texans suffer through his indebted (to self-serving private interests) arrogance.

Peter Stern said...

More importantly, as far as Perry is concerned, he continues to lie to the public. He promises that privatizing, a.k.a., "deregulating" our roadways to toll conglomerates like CINTRA/Zachry will enable a competitive environment, which ultimately will translate into less costs for Texans. Now where has Perry promised that before? Oh yes --- electricity, higher education tution, insurance, health care, utilities, etc. Unfortunately, Texans now pay the highest cost of living expenses proportionately anywhere in our nation. Perry has become a natural disaster Texans can place right next to our tornados, floods, hail and lightning damages. Unfortunately, there is no Perry insurance available to Texas taxpayers.