Friday, January 27, 2012

Your Taxpayer Dollars At Work: Big Government in D. C.

Yesterday, I had an interesting commute to work. Yes, I still live in Keyser, but I work in Washington D. C., so I get to see big government in action a lot more often.

One such example is the Metro subway system. As I mentioned, yesterday was interesting. It took almost two hours to take a trip that normally lasts 35 minutes. Last week, I was delayed 15 minutes because we had to leave a train with smoke billowing out the back. When I get to my station, I don't mind the long walk up the broken escalator, because it is a nice workout. It may be a while before it gets fixed. Metro has been trying to fix another escalator in the same station for three months. It might help if more than one person at a time worked on it, though.

Metro is an aging system. It has old cars, old tracks, old equipment, and all runs under the benevolent eye of Big Government.

Metro ridership is down because, predictably, the system has grown unpredictable. My seat neighbor was anxious because she and her boss, both on the ill-fated train, probably missed an important economic meeting at the White House this morning. To address the problems, Big Government has decided to A) raise fares B) build a brand new line and C) hire a thousand new employees. Not having enough employees is one of the few problems that the service doesn't have.

It makes one want to ask who is John Galt?

Even worse is the inane taxi issue in Washington. They have a regulatory commission on taxis and city council must regularly discuss whether or not to let cabbies raise fares. Cabbies say that they are not making enough, that they are being undercut by non DC based services that ride people into the city for less money. The city wants to force them to take their cars through the wash more often, update their fleet, etc.

Why? Why go through this crap when a free market would do the same thing with less cost to the taxpayer?

Reliable services with clean cabs and good reputations could charge a little more. Those with older cars that are not so well-maintained could charge less. Hotels have stratification on quality and charges. Why should every cab be the equivalent of a Holiday Inn when some could get business being a Motel 6? And why should taxpayers have to foot the bill for this big government nonsense? You see, it is your capital, supported in part by your taxes.

Drives a person insane to even think of the stupidity

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Could Start a Run of Bad Luck For the EPA

The above story discusses how the Environmental Protection Agency faced tough questions from the U.S. Supreme Court over their mistreatment of homeowners seeking to fill a mud puddle on their property. It could lead to stricter boundaries on the EPA's purview while opening up the agency to a flood of litigation. Currently, the agency maintains that they cannot be sued and may only answer in a court of law if they choose to file suit. With this challenge to the authority of the courts, it is probably not surprising that eight of the nine justices had tough questions for the EPA's lawyers.

Coal and timber operators should take note. The rule of Queen Jackson of the EPA may be threatened


Love the headline on Don Surber's Daily Mail blog

"West Virginia Gives Tax Break to Crackers"

Being a long time reader of Mr. Surber's, I would not doubt that his sense of humor is behind letting this one slip out. After all, it should garner a lot of attention and hits across the country from the 99.9999995% of people who do not know that a cracker is a natural gas processing facility.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Vapid Presidency

Obama is likely done.

The Republican Party could nominate anyone, well, almost anyone and win with a competent, confident, and aggressive campaign.

His ringing slogan? "We've gone too far to turn back now." Didn't the lemmings say that in that old staged movie we watched in biology class? When your destination is a cliff, it is never too late to turn around.

Obama's presidency has become completely vapid, driven by the campaign. If he were re-elected, what would happen? What would form the central theme of a second term? The election of someone even worse, like Martin O'Malley of Maryland? Meanwhile he reigns like a tinpot dictator, throwing crumbs at those that he has convinced will never rise to keep their support. Chicago politics finally writ large.

He says this is 1948 and that he is Harry Truman, fighting against all odds to win. Of course he has no postwar boom to help him, no strong theme in foreign policy, such as standing up to the Soviets, no record of any success at all. Truman had a record of accomplishment and a vision in foreign policy that made sense.

What does Obama offer? Liberals even ask that question. Heard one recently pine for a Clinton-Manchin ticket.

He offers nothing but hate, division, and destruction. And he will lose.