Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Real Bus Problem: ECAT survival

ECAT, the Escambia County Area Transit system, is the name used for the buses here where I live. The past year or so, there has been a number of articles in the Pensacola News Journal decrying the fact that ECAT is not making enough money to support its activities.

Basically, they're trying to make those of us who work, own cars, and pay taxes feel bad about the dire straights that public transportation is in, so that we won't complain as loudly when the city/county government tries to up our taxes to give them more money.

Today, there's an editorial in the PNJ saying that due to the upcoming homestead exemption increase, local government is going to be looking for programs to cut (hooray!) and that ECAT is an obvious one.

I say, what's the problem.

Consider, when was the last time that ECAT raised its rates? When was the last time someone could get from one point to the other, in less than two hours? There are a number of other things to do with ECAT before we provide tax money to them. Actually, we should never provide them tax money.

Frankly, it's a hassle no matter how you look at it, one which should be solved by market forces. Raise those rates, and pull my tax money away from ECAT. I don't need to subsidize what should be a business.

Of course, local liberals will complain, and say that with the way all costs are raising, that it's not fair to the low-income folks for ECAT to raise its rates as well.

My response there is: heck, you libs are the ones who voted for this cost of living increase, by voting in a higher minimum wage. So, you really have no one to blame but yourselves for that.

One day, I really hope that everyone will wake up and realize that the government should not be supporting them. That it's not the government's responsibility to take care of your family and provide the basic necessities of life for you. Welfare, and the war on poverty, has done nothing but created a generation of imbeciles who believe they are owed something by the government, that they somehow deserve a portion of my hard-earned money. That somehow it is all right for Uncle Sam to steal it from me to give to them.

What rubbish.

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