Who Woulda Thunk It? - UPDATED

Posted in Around The State, Privatization, Road Issues at 8:34 am by wcnews

That a car salesman would be for the TTC? Red McCombs is pro-toll, pro-CDA/PPP’s, and wants roads built NOW, no matter how much it will cost consumers in the future. Or so he says, McCombs: Let’s keep Texas moving. It’s always comforting when a zillionaire writes an editorial, I’m thinking Leininger here too, telling us about all the benefits we will get from a plan that will enrich them even further. In case you aren’t aware Red McCombs is a car salesman. They’re one of the biggest lobbies for keeping cars and trucks as the only serious mode of transportation in our state and country. But the worst part of this editorial is the straw man argument he gives us about those opposed to these toll roads.

The worst scenario is for lawmakers to prohibit or limit the use of tolls or private funds to pay for needed road projects without authorizing new funding to offset the revenue loss.

Doing nothing to ease gridlock is the worst option of all. Yet that’s what many protesters and some legislators seem to be calling for with a proposed moratorium on much needed roads. A moratorium is a short-term political fix for a far-reaching issue. There are two approaches to building roads: through a gas tax increase or through user fees such as those on toll roads.

Some lawmakers support significant increases in the state gasoline tax to pay for more roads. Gas tax increases in excess of 40 cents per gallon would be needed to get serious about solving traffic problems.

By utilizing toll roads and private investment along with traditional funding methods, Texas can get more roads built faster and without a significant tax increase.

There is A LOT wrong with these four paragraphs. The worst scenario is for lawmakers to even “limit” tolls or private funds? We should just let corporations do what they think is best because, as we all know, they always have the public’s well being as their number one priority. Letting corporations run wild is what got lawmakers in this mess to begin with.

Nobody is suggesting doing nothing, no matter what it “seems” like to Mr. McCombs. There are many alternative plans for improving transportation in Texas. What the moratorium will do is make sure that we’re doing what’s right before we get locked into a plan for 40 years. It might not be the best policy for future care sales, but it’s what’s best for Texans. Yes the choice is between a gas tax, a user fee, or some combination of the two. But from what we’ve seen and heard it’s obvious that ceding our transportation infrastructure to corporations is not the least expensive way to pay for raods, no matter the short-term gain. Even with a 40 cent rise in the gas tax it would be much cheaper than tolls.

And to say that we would not have a significant tax increase if we had tolls is just a bunch of crap. As Sen. Carona said, “Today’s tolls are just disguised taxes.”

There are two main reasons why the TTC is bad. First it’s not a commuter road. It’s main goal is to get truck traffic off of I-35. And with the outrageous tolls they’ll be charging it’s doubtful that there will be any noticeable difference. The second is for this reason, a gas tax is always cheaper, a gas tax is always cheaper - just keep saying that over and over every time you see one of these editorials. I hope the AAS will allow someone who’s on the other side to respond to this editorial.

Let’s not let ‘ol car salesman Red sell us a toll road lemon.

[UPDATE]: Check out what a colossal screw-up the SH 121 deal in Dallas has already become, Was 121 deal the richest?.

The deal to make State Highway 121 a toll road for $2.8 billion in cash was less than half of what the state could have gotten, according to a very rough estimate unveiled Monday by the North Texas Tollway Authority.

Tip to Sal on this who says, “Most sane people knew selling a public highway to a spanish company was a bad deal, but who would have thought it would be exposed to be an outrageous financial screw up so quickly?”.


  1. salcostello said,

    March 13, 2007 at 8:41 am


  2. JimNtexas said,

    March 13, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    I take a backseat to none of my Williamson County neighbors in the area of right-wing wackery, but even I am really skeptical of the so-called ‘benefits’ of selling public roads to private entities until the end of time.

    Keep doing the Lord’s Work.

  3. wcnews said,

    March 13, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Welcome to the debate. Whether it’s the “Lord’s Work”, only time will tell. You’re correct this isn’t about left or right it’s about common sense and right and wrong. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this is just wrong.

  4. salcostello said,

    March 14, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    I placed this on McBlogger’s similar blog article on Burnt Orange Report, but they deleted it. Hope you don’t mind me speaking the truth here.



    81% of Senate are signed on.
    62% of Reps are signed on.

    Yet, Rep. Mark Strama, who as a member of CAMPO voted to toll roads that were already 100% paid for, has yet to step up and sign on. Did Craddick tell him to stand down?

    Look for yourself:

    After one of the CAMPO meetings in 2005, I asked Strama, in the parking lot, why he would break the written promise he made to our AustinTollParty.com group, and vote FOR freeway toll bills every time with Rep. Mike Krusee.

    Strama told myself and a witness that he voted with Krusee because:

    “I’m a Democrat in a Republican house. It’s kind of like being in prison and I’ve got to be someone’s bitch.”

    And readers, don’t try and tell me I’m a republican, because I’m not. Corruption comes in Red and Blue, and our group has taken the lead to remove plenty of Republicans since 2004.

    When will Strama grow a spine?

    Sal Costello

  5. wcnews said,

    March 14, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    I’m not sure when he did Sal, but from the link in your comment, 5:00 update, it appears Rep. Strama has signed on.

  6. salcostello said,

    March 15, 2007 at 6:37 am

    Cool…a little pressure does a lot.


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