Funding The Socialistic Republic of West Haven

I swear, socialism has taken over, and in the strangest places.

Utah seems to be leading the way.

In Tuesday’s paper we had a letter to the editor from a gentleman responding to the dispute last week over FrontRunner costs.

A BYU professor says the taxpayers are subsidizing riders on that wonderful train to the tune of thousands of dollars a year, per rider, and he considers the whole thing an expensive boondoggle as a result. His numbers are hooey, but he’s entitled to his view.

Many of us, with eyes to congested futures, see trains as a needed infrastructure project, an investment, and a way for people to avoid the inevitable congestion that roads bring.

What irritated that particular letter writer was the idea that his tax dollars were going to subsidize someone else’s ride. It’s outrageous, he said, his hard earned money! Socialism is what it is!

We’re seeing a lot of that attitude — the “using my money to pay for others is socialism!” screech that has shown up in public discourse of late.

It started with that Joe the Plumber idiot (His names not Joe and he’s not a plumber!) during the campaign when Obama, defending tax hikes on the rich, said some had to kick in more to share the wealth around.

Ever since he said that — and, remember, progressive taxation has been the basis of taxation in the United States since 1776 or thereabouts — the anti-tax folks have been screaming “SOCIALISM!” from the tops of the lungs.

Here’s the funny part: In that same news paper was a story on the extension of Hinkley Drive to West Haven. The story was mostly about how West Haven has attracted a multi-plex movie house (do we really need another one?) that will anchor a huge shopping and restaurant development.

Critical to that development is the aforesaid extension of Hinkley Drive because, otherwise, everyone going to it will have to wend their way down Midland Drive and who knows what.

It will cost about $46 million to do the job. That’s  a bit less than a 10th of the cost of FrontRunner for a couple miles of extension of Hinkley Drive.  Roads are expensive to build and expensive to maintain.

And who will pay for this — the good people of West Haven, who will benefit from it?  The developers of the multi-plex movie theaters who will make money selling tickets to the people who drive on it?

Of course not, silly person.

The taxpayers of the state of Utah will pay for it, all $46 million, a direct subsidy to West Haven’s development dreams, a taking of our tax dollars without even saying “Please?” and giving them to West Haven and private developers.

It won’t stop there. It never does. When traffic and people clog West Haven’s roads you can bet they’ll come whining back for more money for widening the roads, installing traffic lights, building new schools, the whole nine yards. 

SOCIALISM! It creeps in everywhere, does it not?

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7 Responses to Funding The Socialistic Republic of West Haven

  1. dan s. says:

    The Hinckley Drive extension is a great example of a road project whose cost/benefit ratio is way too high. And there are many other examples. Yet in 2007 Weber County voted for a sales tax increase to fund these expensive road projects–and the Standard-Examiner endorsed the increase.

    Fortunately, there’s a good chance that some of this sales tax money will be spent on improved transit within Ogden City. But the planning for the transit project is being taken over by UDOT, which doesn’t want streetcars operating on its roads, and by Mayor Godfrey, who seems to prefer his own personal ideas simply because they’re his. During the last month I’ve attended three transit planning meetings, and the process isn’t pretty. Why are there no reporters at these meetings?

  2. As long as the guy who is offended by the socialistic commuter rail program doesn’t drive his Hummer on the new Hinckley Drive extension, he’ll be able to preserve his purity of opinion. If he drives on a publicly financed road while condemning other transit modes, it’s just hypocrisy.

    The great American George Costanza once declared, “We live in a society!” We need to work together, as social creatures, to keep a functioning society going. That’s not socialism. Socialism is the convenient label for the extreme, and it’s now being used as an encompassing political epithet. I’m surprised the “communism” label hasn’t been splashed around very much yet by the wild-eyes.

  3. Charles Trentelman says:

    America likes to boast that it is the land of the rugged individualist, an interesting fiction.

    As Wallace Stegner liked to point out, the last rugged individualist in America died at the end of a rope, the other end of which was held by a whole bunch of cooperators.

  4. Hi folks, after reading this article. I’m wondering what these people who cry so loud, will do in the future when the gas prices are at 5.00/gal.?
    Believe me when I tell you that you will be thankful for mass transit. The average worker won’t even be able to afford to drive to the grocery store. Only the Hummer drivers will have the money to do that.
    Think about it.

  5. laytonian says:

    Socialists! Every person I know crying “socialism!” is a retiree receiving Social Security and Medicare. Every blasted one of them.

    Even my dear cousin, who had a double-knee replacement three years ago courtesy of Medicare, yet is busy forwarding hoax emails about “Obama’s a socialist” and “Obama’s a Muslim” (she can’t make up her mind).

    You folks claiming to be “constitutionists” and crying “socialists!” must have slept through every civics class you were ever exposed to.

  6. Jim Hutchins says:

    Our Founding Fathers had a name for socialism. They called it “commonweal”.

    Laytonian is right. These “critics” of “socialism” need to attend a civics class. At the very least, they need to go to the Family History Library and see where my ancestors were voted to positions like “Commissioners of Roads” for their little Maine town. Socialists!

  7. Charles Trentelman says:

    never mind Maine, they need to study Utah, and LDS, history. Ever wonder why it was called Zion’s COOPERATIVE Mercantile Institute?

    It was a co-op, socialism by another name. Brigham City operated almost completely on that system for decades, too.

    And, of course, medical insurance today is socialized medicine, but don’t try to tell them that. They’re proud of paying Insurance Company executive obscene salaries…

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