GM in trouble
Delphi in trouble
Ford in trouble
Northwest Airlines in trouble
Major players in Michigan struggling. Employees laid off or fired. Major wage and benefit reductions.
Fuel costs increasing for vehicles, homes and commercial buildings.
Building materials getting increasingly expensive due to hurricane damages.
Okay, so things are a little tight right now. But our government is working hard to help. Here's a good example. Back on September 11, I began a series of articles about how the state, county and local governments were exacerbating the cost of transportation by not addressing poorly sequenced traffic signals. Part of what I stated was:
The State of Michigan charges almost 20 cents per gallon of gasoline as a flat tax plus 6% sales tax on the price per gallon. This is an incentive for the state to promote fuel inefficiency! Am I the only one who gets really PO'd about this situation?Fast forward to yesterday's The Detroit News.
LANSING -- Higher fuel taxes, local tax increases, toll lanes, beefed-up mass transit and per-mile charges are among the solutions being bandied about as Michigan scrambles for cash to repair local and state roads and reduce congestion on urban highways.Maybe the reason the freeways are so congested is that traffic elsewhere is so poorly managed. Drivers can't use major surface roads to get anyplace because the signal progression is so poor that everyone floods the expressways which become crawlways.
Well, we do need to fix the roads and bridges... no real choice. So where is the money going to come from? Not from places represented by strong lobbies.
Expect to keep seeing those 11-axle monsters jackhammering the highways. They are the single greatest cause of damage to our roads and bridges, but Michigan "needs" them. Right, I "need" a 50-room mansion, too. The argument for keeping them is that those monsters would have to be replaced by more trucks causing more congestion. Well, if the roads were not damaged so much, they wouldn't have to be repaired so often. Overall congestion might well decrease and those lanes that were not under constant repair could handle the extra, lighter-weight trucks.
And, we might not have to keep trying to tax and spend more. Nah, that part will continue.