Illinois Toll charges to almost double. Good thing the economy is doing so well.
I have found, during my relatively young life, that some people are less gifted in terms of common sense than others. I’ve known people that are really “smart,” but couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag, if you know what I mean. These sorts of people have taken over almost every level of government in my home state of Illinois. I moved here from another blackhole of government suck: California. And I moved there from the greatest state in the union: Michigan, as it was being destroyed by its government. Hey, maybe I’m the problem.
Lots of people are leaving Illinois. Don’t believe me? Try Googling “population leaving Illinois.” Like many states, Illinois has a budget problem. Unlike many states, however, our democrat governor and democrat-controlled legislature chose to double state income tax and increase the corporate tax rate by 45%. The (totally expected) result: more people and companies are leaving, and taking their tax revenue with them. Oh, and let’s not forget about the property taxes that make me wonder if my neighbor’s house is obscuring my ocean-front view.
And now what? Well here in Illinois, in addition to taxes, we have these things called “tollways.” They’re basically highways that require you to pay to use them. Great idea right? Only if you’re into sending your money to a government slush fund to be used for buying votes (Blago wasn’t an exception; he was the rule). The original toll system was designed to pay for the creation of the tollways. Which were largely completed in the 1980’s. In other words, the tolls have been paid for. But we’re still paying. Like a bunch of idiots.
Recently, the god-like Tollway Authority Board of Directors, which consists of the governor and others appointed by the governor, decided we needed more tollways. So it decided, all by itself, to initiate a $12 billion, 15-year capitol program, to build more tollways. To pay for it, we citizens of northeast Illinois get our tolls almost doubled.
Let me be clear: THIS IS CRAP! The entire basis for this boondoggle is “it’ll create jobs.” Pants. on. Fire. What it will actually do is take my money and use it to line the pockets of political insiders and the union bosses that’ll build the damn roads.
A sampling of the lunacy that’s out there:
‘We are confident that the vast majority of customers and communities we serve stand behind us in support of this 15-year investment in the Illinois Tollway’s future,’ said Kristi Lafleur, executive director of the Illinois Tollway, in a news release. ‘Now is the time to move forward with these critical infrastructure improvements to provide congestion relief on the tollway and coordination with the other transportation and transit agencies to do something new and innovative with an eye to the region’s future transportation needs.’
Moron. Ms. Lefleur’s last name should have been your first indication that she’s completely untrustworthy and has bad teeth. “Vast majority of customers?” Really? The only way the “vast majority” is standing behind you is to get into their cars before running you over. Common sense people. Is now really the best time to increase the cost of doing business? Congestion? I’ll buy into your congestion theory right after the Illinois Dept. of Transportation stops taking up entire lanes of traffic for months with construction barrels, WHILE THERE’S NO CONSTRUCTION ACTUALLY TAKING PLACE.
‘My heart goes out to those going through tough times and that have lost jobs. One side effect of this is that it will enhance the economy in northern Illinois over 15 years,’ said Naperville Mayor and tollway Director George Pradel, who voted for the toll increase.
Moron. Do you really think charging someone MORE to drive to work is going to improve their life? Seriously? How exactly will this enhance the economy in northern Illinois? By forcing people to pay more to go out to dinner? I think I’ll stay in, thanks. And where are they going to build the damn tollways anyway? Every available piece of land is a friggin’ nature preserve or dog park. I’ll guarantee you that Mayor Pradel will be getting a nice little envelope for his re-election campaign from one of his construction pals.
The plan had critics, but it also had supporters beyond the construction companies that were touting the 120,000 jobs that the Illinois Tollway estimated will be created by the program…On the Illinois Tollway’s website, the list of the capital plan’s supporters runs deep. Among them were the Kane/Kendall Council of Mayors, AAA Chicago, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and many labor unions.
Hmmm…who do I see on that list? A whole bunch of groups that will benefit financially from the program, without experiencing any of the pain.
‘There will be some people unhappy with it,’ Aurora Mayor and tollway Director Tom Weisner said. He added, ‘this country’s been a world leader because of the interstate system built 50 years ago. If you don’t make infrastructure investments, you will be sorry.’