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Old 01-15-2010, 02:02 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,655,096 times
Reputation: 1682

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie View Post
Perhaps some people are tired of footing the bill for automobiles:

THE AUTOMOBILE SUBSIDY

"According to Hart and Spivak, government subsidies for highways and
parking alone amount to between 8 and 10 percent of our gross
national product, the equivalent of a fuel tax of approximately $3.50
per gallon. If this tax were to account for the "soft" costs such as
pollution cleanup and emergency medical treatment, it would be as
high as $9.50 per gallon. The cost of these subsidies -
approximately $5,000 per car per year - is passed directly on to the
American citizen in the form of increased prices for products or,
more often, as income, property, and sales taxes. This means that
the hidden costs of driving are paid by everyone: not just drivers,
but also those too old or too poor to drive a car. And these people
suffer doubly, as the very transit systems they count on for mobility
have gone out of business, unable to compete with the heavily
subsidized highways.
So I guess those busses don't depend on the same roads and highways as the cars then? I guess our food, and medicine and other material goods are going to beam themselves to us without a road network? Is there some entity other than government that would be responsible for public infrastructure like roads?

Sorry, but this is just neo-lib socialist/communist self-flagellation.
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:12 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,655,096 times
Reputation: 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollygee View Post
Why do you think public transportation is a "handout?" Colorado Springs is spread out in all directions. This is the year 2010. There should be public transportation in this town.

Have you ever stood on a corner in the cold or at night and waited for the next bus?? Have you ever had to rely on public transportation? A handout?
There should be public transportation so long as the users are willing to pay for it. Given that nearly half of the people in this country don't pay ANY federal income tax, that means the folks we're talking about are travelling over roads already paid for by others.

I lived in the DC area and did depend on public transit. And it wasn't particularly cheap, either. There, when costs exceed revenues, they raise fares (amid much hand-wringing and knashing of teeth).

It's a handout if people expect to be able to take out more than they're putting in over the long term. Living beyond your means is a great thing when you can count on someone else getting to pay your bills.

Anyway, how many of you die-hard bus supporters have mailed a check in to the city for your share of the tax increase that was voted down? Yeah, I didn't think so. You feel pretty strongly about it as long as it's not YOUR money at stake.
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:19 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,655,096 times
Reputation: 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by gn3 View Post
Just imagine the kicking and screaming if the "rugged individualists" didn't have their massive auto subsidy (or meat subsidy, or many others). Most of those who preach the radical libertarian line are beneficiaries of redistribution through these policies and would find life a whole lot less rosy if these ceased.
I'd guess that many of the libertarians would be happy to point out that the redistribution going on is occurring with their tax dollars...remember that 49% of the working population isn't paying any federal income tax at all. So if I happen to get some of my tax money back in an auto subsidy, I don't feel too bad because I'm one of the people that put that money into the tax coffers in the first place.

People that aren't contributing anything have no right to p*ss and moan about not getting enough back from the government they put little to nothing into.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:25 AM
gn3
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
147 posts, read 358,736 times
Reputation: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob from down south View Post
I'd guess that many of the libertarians would be happy to point out that the redistribution going on is occurring with their tax dollars...remember that 49% of the working population isn't paying any federal income tax at all. So if I happen to get some of my tax money back in an auto subsidy, I don't feel too bad because I'm one of the people that put that money into the tax coffers in the first place.

People that aren't contributing anything have no right to p*ss and moan about not getting enough back from the government they put little to nothing into.
Most libertarians are beneficiaries of redistribution, and would kick and scream if their dream actually came true.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:51 AM
 
20,326 posts, read 37,840,000 times
Reputation: 18113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie View Post
Perhaps some people are tired of footing the bill for automobiles:

THE AUTOMOBILE SUBSIDY

"According to Hart and Spivak, government subsidies for highways and
parking alone amount to between 8 and 10 percent of our gross
national product, the equivalent of a fuel tax of approximately $3.50
per gallon. If this tax were to account for the "soft" costs such as
pollution cleanup and emergency medical treatment, it would be as
high as $9.50 per gallon. The cost of these subsidies -
approximately $5,000 per car per year - is passed directly on to the
American citizen in the form of increased prices for products or,
more often, as income, property, and sales taxes. This means that
the hidden costs of driving are paid by everyone: not just drivers,
but also those too old or too poor to drive a car. And these people
suffer doubly, as the very transit systems they count on for mobility
have gone out of business, unable to compete with the heavily
subsidized highways.
Hey Pookie, cool post. I've touched on this before in other threads about how we pay through the nose for our cars. Probably HALF the cost of our police, fire, EMT, court and other costs come from auto-related crashes or police enforcement. Not to mention street lights, paint striping, snow removal, signalling and signage and so much more that is in our state and local budgets. Then there's the cost of deferred maintenance (bridges falling down, etc). It's easy for me to agree that these subsidies are expensive and if we paid all of this via the tax on gasoline, then our cost for gas would get up to the levels they have in Europe, who seem to have these thing figured out quite well.

Several of us have spoken often about the negative effects of the auto kingdom. Accounting for all the costs of our auto-centric nation is not neo-lib anything, it faces the reality of our situation, and shows how badly we've been governed by lobbyist-centric governments.

If we paid $8/gallon for gas to cover these costs, buses would gain much ridership. Once ridership hits critical mass under THAT scenario, buses could break even or get close enough that it doesn't matter. But IIRC, there is no transit system in the nation that covers all costs and breaks even, not even DC Metro (I've used it too) which gets large operating subsidies from surrounding counties, which are justified partly on the basis that no one can afford to build the massive highway system that would be needed to handle the DC area traffic loads.

I remain with the view that bus service is a basic and essential city service.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,335 posts, read 4,371,066 times
Reputation: 15321
To add to what Mike said, we ought to also consider the cost of the wars we've gotten into as a result of our dependence on foreign oil. If you add that into the equation, I'll bet the real cost is more than doubled.

We need to develop transportation which is not dependent on foreign oil. My preference would be to use Nuclear, wind and solar power with cars that are electric or hydrogen fuel cell powered.

Eventually we'll get there.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,655,096 times
Reputation: 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
To add to what Mike said, we ought to also consider the cost of the wars we've gotten into as a result of our dependence on foreign oil. If you add that into the equation, I'll bet the real cost is more than doubled.

We need to develop transportation which is not dependent on foreign oil. My preference would be to use Nuclear, wind and solar power with cars that are electric or hydrogen fuel cell powered.

Eventually we'll get there.
If we were to stop buying foreign oil today, who would buy the immense float of treasury debt that we use to fuel our insane levels of deficit spending? We're locked in a smelly embrace with the Arabs (or is it an embrace with the smelly Arabs?), no doubt, but we depend on them as much as they depend on us. When we slow down/stop buying their oil, they slow down/stop financing the cost of decades of living beyond our means.

When I was in college, nuclear power was the preferred target of the Birkenstock-clad green-niks around the world. It was oh so dangerous, and posed serious long-term risks far beyond the control of mankind. Now, after two serious accidents (Three Mile Island and Chernobyl) it's suddenly clean and green and in vogue. Too funny.

What do ya suppose happens when a tank of pressurized hydrogen gas is ruptured in a collision?
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,655,096 times
Reputation: 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Several of us have spoken often about the negative effects of the auto kingdom. Accounting for all the costs of our auto-centric nation is not neo-lib anything, it faces the reality of our situation, and shows how badly we've been governed by lobbyist-centric governments.
As long as the books are balanced, maybe. But the proponents of bus service, and electric cars and all the rest also depend on the road network, so there's no savings or effeciency gained by switching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
If we paid $8/gallon for gas to cover these costs, buses would gain much ridership. Once ridership hits critical mass under THAT scenario, buses could break even or get close enough that it doesn't matter. But IIRC, there is no transit system in the nation that covers all costs and breaks even, not even DC Metro (I've used it too) which gets large operating subsidies from surrounding counties, which are justified partly on the basis that no one can afford to build the massive highway system that would be needed to handle the DC area traffic loads.
At $4 a gallon we almost pushed the economy over a cliff. When it gets to $8/gallon, we'll have bigger issues to discuss than bus service for deadbeats that want their transportation costs paid for by others. The costs of agricultural products, which are heavily dependent on petroleum as an input, will make eating much more of a daily struggle than getting a cheap ride to a job that no longer exists.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:49 PM
 
20,326 posts, read 37,840,000 times
Reputation: 18113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob from down south View Post
... At $4 a gallon we almost pushed the economy over a cliff. When it gets to $8/gallon, we'll have bigger issues to discuss than bus service for deadbeats that want their transportation costs paid for by others. The costs of agricultural products, which are heavily dependent on petroleum as an input, will make eating much more of a daily struggle than getting a cheap ride to a job that no longer exists.
The interesting aspect in the $4 vs $8 per gallon scenario is what Pookie mentioned; we're paying the equivalent of $8/gallon now when we factor in all the police, fire and other costs associated with driving. If every PD, FD and EMT service in COLO billed the state for the cost of servicing all of the accident scenes, and the state re-imbursed those agencies out of the state gasoline tax, then the gas tax would have to go up a buck or two per gallon to cover it and then buses would look more attractive from a cost perspective. Moving PD/FD/EMT costs to the gasoline tax "should" deflate the sales, income and property taxes we pay to cover their accident services (don't hold your breath though). Currently, a good deal of what is spent on roads, PD/FD/EMT, etc is paid for via other pots of money than the gasoline taxes, thus making gasoline a bargain, at the expense of everyone else, including non-drivers. I'm sure that many areas of public and private finance and money flows are equally murky and so full of smoke and mirrors that it would make Harry Houdini, P.T. Barnun and Bernie Madoff proud.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,655,096 times
Reputation: 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
The interesting aspect in the $4 vs $8 per gallon scenario is what Pookie mentioned; we're paying the equivalent of $8/gallon now when we factor in all the police, fire and other costs associated with driving. If every PD, FD and EMT service in COLO billed the state for the cost of servicing all of the accident scenes, and the state re-imbursed those agencies out of the state gasoline tax, then the gas tax would have to go up a buck or two per gallon to cover it and then buses would look more attractive from a cost perspective. Moving PD/FD/EMT costs to the gasoline tax "should" deflate the sales, income and property taxes we pay to cover their accident services (don't hold your breath though). Currently, a good deal of what is spent on roads, PD/FD/EMT, etc is paid for via other pots of money than the gasoline taxes, thus making gasoline a bargain, at the expense of everyone else, including non-drivers. I'm sure that many areas of public and private finance and money flows are equally murky and so full of smoke and mirrors that it would make Harry Houdini, P.T. Barnun and Bernie Madoff proud.
But mobility is a common denominator with the wasteful way we've organized our society. If the cars go away, we'll just be getting injured in bus accidents or getting run over by delivery trucks instead. Getting on a bus in Santiago Chile, where busses are as ubiquitous as cars, is at least as risky as driving somewhere. Nobody will pick your pocket or grope you in your car. And without the roads, the PD/FD/EMS would take hours to reach us. Hmmmmm. The widespread use of of public transport does not eliminate any of what you're talking about here. It just shifts the cost to another pot.

Everyone benefits from the roads, whether it be from personal travel, or from the goods that are transported to them via those same byways. But there's a huge difference between building common infrastructure used--directly or indirectly--by all, and the socialist/communist idea of having all of one's transportation needs paid for by your neighbors.

Personally, I'd welcome pushing much more of the costs to the travelling public...including those on busses. I've structured my living situation so that I can live comfortably with about 20 miles a week on the roads in a motor vehicle...even less if I work at it. If I move out to my Doomstead out on the plains, even less, since I'm pretty much self-sufficient there. So I pay WAY more than my fair share for people living the dream of unchecked urban sprawl as it is.

Bottom line: stupid people that choose to live 10+ miles from their livelihood deserve to suffer the consequences of their unintelligent decisions. I really don't want to hear their complaints when the entirely foreseeable spectre of high bus fares or gas prices puts the idiocy of their decisions in its proper light.
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