June 27, 2005


It's a gas. Seems everyone out there's tryin' to get their hands on someone else's stash. Yeah, yeah... I know those aren't the words, but the line does describe a couple of points I'd like to make. There was a benefit auction in SF over the weekend. The auctioneer had run out of items to auction off, and they started asking the bidders if they were willing to donate instead of purchase... Well the donations started at $500 a pop. These proceeds were to go toward supporting impoverished families. People started throwing money at the auctioneer, and they were able to raise almost twice as much as they were hoping. How's that for a bad economy? If someone is willing to fork over $500 as a donation instead of actually purchasing something in an auction they must have a serious amount of disposable wealth. Can't be doing half bad, huh? I know there are people who are suffering because of lack of income, but their lot in life can't be someone else's' fault forever!

And on to my second point... The Oakland Bay Bridge Extension Span project has run WAY over budget and time. That's not really news. What is news is how they're going to supplement the budget to be able to finish the bridge. The Dems in Sacramento have decided not only to increase the tolls at every state owned bridge $1 (making the Golden Gate a $6 trip, and the Bay Bridge a $4 trip), but they also want to increase the gas taxes (upwards of $0.18/gal right now) and the VLF (vehicle licensing fee) so this bridge can be finished without increasing state income taxes. How is raising three separate taxes more beneficial to the citizen than raising a single tax? I'm not sure, but to tell you the truth, I think raising any of the taxes is a bad idea. I think we should cut out some of the high paying jobs in government... I figure if we took some of the people who make things harder to complete out of the picture (and stop paying for their position) we wouldn't have to worry about projects being completed on time and under budget. Like that bridge in LA county that was repaired in a records 9 months time instead of the estimated 3 years time CALTRANS had quoted to the county. Oh, and they had this innovative way of doing things, too. Something about having a shift working on the project at all times (24/7) to complete it faster. There was also a lack of union stupidity involved in the re-construction, AND the contractor was to benefit from a bonus at the end of the project based on a combination of their budget surplus and how much earlier than quoted the job was completed. The bridge was finished in record time, under budget (even with the bonus!), and it's not considered the safest bridge in Southern California. Imagine that!

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