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Rick vs. Kay: KBH has decided to “base her campaign on opposing the Trans Texas Corridor which has been dead already for quite some time.”
I guess she decided to scrap that whole, “I’m the real Conservative” campaign slogan…since, you know…she’s slightly left of other “real Conservatives” like Arlen Spector and Olympia Snowe…
Much more from Leonard Gilroy at Reason Foundation:
In a puzzling tiptoe act, while she bashes and misrepresents Perry’s pro-privatization transportation policies with one hand, with the other she claims that she would also be open to toll concessions, just not as much. She rants against foreign toll road investors in her campaign ads, while seemingly failing to recognize that an international consortium—joined by their homegrown equity partner, the Dallas Police & Fire Pension Fund—are investing in two multi-billion dollar, congestion-busting highway megaprojects in the Metroplex, Hutchison’s home turf. These are projects that the state would have not otherwise been able to afford without private financing.
There’s no such thing as a “free” road…simple as that. Having served on Capitol Hill for years where the national transportation funding crisis is very well known, Hutchison should know that better than anyone. Recognizing the depth of the crisis and the threat to U.S. economic competitiveness, the U.S. Congress even chartered two national commissions to help chart a new path forward on transportation policy and financing.
Hence, it’s incredibly disingenuous for the Senator to base her transportation agenda on an unattainable goal—”return to our tradition of free, quality highways and roads”—that will never possibly be achieved (unless she’s willing to raise the current gas tax by multiples, a political loser). That “traditional” tax-based, government-monopoly-based system has run out of gas and is not coming back, which is why policymakers at all levels of government are frantically exploring new financing innovations, like PPP toll roads. Promising a return to the glory days of Texas tax-road building only promotes false hope and makes the inevitable reality check that much more difficult to swallow.