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Old 02-20-2012, 08:07 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,215,329 times
Reputation: 2823
To repeat: state law protects those pensions. So right now, there is nothing PAT's current management can do about them. That means unless and until those laws are changed--and there is no sign of the state being willing to do that--cutting PAT's state funding does absolutely nothing to reduce those costs.

So everyone supporting cutting PAT's state funding is de facto supporting maximizing the percentage of PAT's funding which goes to pay existing reitrement benefits.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Wilkinsburg
1,661 posts, read 1,257,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
So everyone supporting cutting PAT's state funding is de facto supporting maximizing the percentage of PAT's funding which goes to pay existing reitrement benefits.

They're also de facto arguing to increase the per person cost of transportation service. Taxes paid remains constant and the level of service provided decreases.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:14 AM
 
3,509 posts, read 2,065,732 times
Reputation: 1966
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
That is what the TFAC was all about. Their report explains the origins of the state funding crisis and makes recommendations for how to address it:

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

I might note they do not rely on the general fund (where education funding comes from), except to the extent they recommend shifting a large portion of State Police funding over to the general fund.
I read it and most of the recommendations present would equal political suicide for anyone in support much more so then any funding cut to PAT ever would. Increasing vehicle & driver fees, increasing gas franchise tax (= increases gas costs to drivers), shifting police costs to the general fund - (fine if the general fund wasnt out of money); increase in vehicle registration cost; increase in fines; speed cameras use - these are not things that will go over well with the majority of drivers in PA which are also the majority of voters in PA.

Some of the ideas presented are great (biennual registration, eight yr drivers license, consolidation of license centers, (some are skeptical) selling advertising space on right-aways, but the vast majority of the funding listed are from the above mentioned items which would not be popular in the least if presented as an actual proposal by harrisburg.

by the way, no clue what the "financial responsibility fine" would be
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:15 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,215,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ML North View Post
and minimizing the level of service provided by PAT for the amount of taxes they pay.
Indeed.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:21 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,215,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKyank View Post
I read it and most of the recommendations present would equal political suicide for anyone in support much more so then any funding cut to PAT ever would. Increasing vehicle & driver fees, increasing gas franchise tax (= increases gas costs to drivers), shifting police costs to the general fund - (fine if the general fund wasnt out of money); increase in vehicle registration cost; increase in fines; speed cameras use - these are not things that will go over well with the majority of drivers in PA which are also the majority of voters in PA.
Note the majority of those funds would go to pay for roads and bridges not transit.

I get that you like to represent the hypothetical views of a totally irrational driver who wants Pennsylvania to provide him with a quality road system but doesn't want to have to pay anything for it. But I think you are wrong to assume everyone is like that--if they believe they are getting their fair share in benefits, most people will support revenue measures for transportation, which is confirmed by recent polls, and which is how we got funding for transportation in the first place.

What has changed is that a certain group of politicians and their allies is trying to promise people they can have their cake and eat it too, while also stirring up resentment of people who live in urban areas. In other words, they are applying standard Culture War techniques to these issue. But I think you are wrong about how many people are truly falling for those techniques.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:32 AM
 
3,509 posts, read 2,065,732 times
Reputation: 1966
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
\I get that you like to represent the hypothetical views of a totally irrational driver who wants Pennsylvania to provide him with a quality road system but doesn't want to have to pay anything for it. But I think you are wrong to assume everyone is like that--if they believe they are getting their fair share in benefits, most people will support revenue measures for transportation, which is confirmed by recent polls, and which is how we got funding for transportation in the first place.

If people are truly rational about paying for their transportation and not mindng the extra money needed to support it then why not skip all the hoops of an increase fee here, a bit of a tax there, moving this funding around here, and just flat out send say a $100 tax bill out to every pennsylvanian and use the proceeds to solely fund transportation. I'd favor a simple transparent way of funding it like that over creative nickle and dime ways of funding.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Great White North Hills
8,275 posts, read 7,342,973 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by UKyank View Post
If people are truly rational about paying for their transportation and not mindng the extra money needed to support it then why not skip all the hoops of an increase fee here, a bit of a tax there, moving this funding around here, and just flat out send say a $100 tax bill out to every pennsylvanian and use the proceeds to solely fund transportation. I'd favor a simple transparent way of funding it like that over creative nickle and dime ways of funding.
The politicians would turn that into walking around money as soon as they passed the law.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:42 AM
 
4,677 posts, read 4,590,616 times
Reputation: 1982
Again all it would take is for 1 bridge to fall into the Water, and everyone would wake up instantly....
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:51 AM
 
4,690 posts, read 1,895,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbeauty212 View Post
Again all it would take is for 1 bridge to fall into the Water, and everyone would wake up instantly....

That could be arranged.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Great White North Hills
8,275 posts, read 7,342,973 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by squarian View Post
That could be arranged.
What, you know a guy that knows a guy?
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