Lost in Transit

What is it about Liberals and mass transit boondoggles?

We’re hardly the first to discover that bus lines, light rail, trolleys—all conveyances that take all their passengers where someone else decides they should go—are held in special reverence by persons of the Liberal persuasion.

Some psychologist could render a genuine service to society by examining what it is about mass transit that resonates so deeply in the psyche of the Left; it might explain a great deal of what bedevils us today.

Sunday’s La Crosse Tribune had a story that’s a perfect gem, surely in ways the Tribune didn’t intend. It quotes a pair of local transit mavens, undoubtedly chafing that the Legislature last year all but wiped out regional transit authorities and their power to levy taxes on people with little or no use for their services. Some of us have distinct memories spanning decades, of municipal bus lines grasping for subsidies in the face of dwindling demand. In one precious quote from Sunday’s Tribune, the story of half a century is told:

“The service we provide is directly related to the funding we receive,” he said. “It’s not really related to demand.”

That was Keith Carlson, La Crosse Municipal Transit Utility manager, explaining, we guess, that his mission in life is to expend as much as possible of other people’s money to run buses around town irrespective of the drivers spending their workdays in mobile solitude.

Another advocate would remedy our perceived shortage of buses roaming in search of a passenger by scrapping the regional concept and going statewide: an unelected body with statewide taxing authority. We call that failing upward.


About Wisconsin Club for Growth
The Club for Growth is a national network of over 40,000 men and women, from all walks of life, who believe that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom. Wisconsin Club for Growth, Inc. is dedicated to informing, educating and rallying citizens of Wisconsin to embrace and enact policies that lead to sustained economic growth, limited government, and minimal taxation. Wisconsin Club for Growth can and will have an enormous impact on the direction of our state. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes that effective lobbying is done at all stages of the budget cycle, including when our leaders make public promises and can be encouraged to support policies that spur economic growth. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes we must support pro-growth policies and encourage public officials with backbones to remain truly committed to making our economy and our state stronger. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes our leaders must stand up to the tax and spend mentality in Madison and work tirelessly to cut taxes and unleash the power of the free-market.

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