One of the things I am constantly accused of is being out of touch with reality. I regularly receive emails and messages telling me that I don’t understand the complexities of the actions taken by governments. Mostly, I’m told to go away and stop blogging about El Paso. My piece on the trolley generated many “you have no clue” messages telling me how I didn’t understand the beauty of the trolley project. Therefore, it was nice to see another take on the whole trolley fiasco. A group calling itself Empower Texans published a piece about El Paso’s trolley on Friday, August 29, 2014.
The piece titled “TXDOT’s Race To Waste” by Christopher Paxton points out how TXDOT is telling Texans that there is no more money for roads as it gives “away $97 million of borrowed money going to an expensively ineffective streetcar project in El Paso.” According to Paxton, the $97 million is coming from a fund that is funded by TXDOT by borrowing money “against future revenue by issuing bonds”. In other words, the $97 million that the city said it would lose if it didn’t spend it is being borrowed by TXDOT to give to the city for the trolley.
It seems that El Paso politicos don’t understand that it isn’t bad enough to make taxpayers pay for their follies but to make them pay interest as well is just adding salt to a wound already abused by mistreatment.
Paxton goes on to point out that the monies being used by TXDOT have not been properly vetted by the taxpayers as well as questioning how TXDOT can proclaim they don’t have enough money to fund road construction projects while borrowing money for the El Paso trolley project. He asks very pointedly that “taxpayers should be asking, ‘why borrow at all if the money is spent on projects such as these, when other worthy projects exist?’”
Like Paxton, Joe Pickett has been telling anyone that will listen that there are more pressing road projects that need the $97 million. If the taxpayers of the city don’t get to have say on whether to pay interest on the money they should at the very least have a say on what projects are more important for the city.
The trolley project is now even worse for the community when everyone realizes that not only is it taxpayer monies but monies on which the taxpayers will also be paying interest on as well. It is a double whammy for the taxpayers.
How anyone can continue to justify the trolley project as a viable economic stimulator for the city is beyond me. But then again, for the El Paso politicos it isn’t about what’s good for the city but rather what those pulling their strings tells them is needed regardless of the stupidity of the whole fiasco.