2017-10-04 / Letters

Road bond boondoggle

Dear Editor:

Last week, Curtis Perry of Keyser wrote: “To vote yes” [for the road bond] “is a vote against yourself.” His letter was particularly pointed, since it counteracted a letter signed by 20 West Virginia legislators (including Charles Trump, R-Morgan) who claimed that “for not one penny of additional taxes, West Virginians can choose...to immediately have better roads and more jobs.”

The Gall. Do they think we’re stupid? All our transportation taxes and fees were raised before the public even had a chance to vote down the bond issue boondoggle. If the bond is indeed voted down (as it should be), the money will still be there on a pay-as-you-go basis, instead of allowing the state to borrow up to $1.6 billion that has to be paid back over 25-30 years.

West Virginia is already in big trouble, if one looks beyond pie-in-the-sky propoganda from the “financial morons” in Charleston. We have an ever-aging population who are already taxed through the hose to keep things looking a-ok, as they say; plus younger people keep fleeing the state, further increasing the burden on those who are left behind.

Those of us who remain will also have to pick up the tab for massively underfunded public pensions and health benefits. West Virginia’s funds are based on a protected 7.5% yearly return — a near impossibility over the last decade or so, except for so-called risky “junk bonds.”

And don’t forget the ever-increasing local taxes and “fees” (taxes by any other name). Raul Meijer of the Automatic Earth blog sums up taxpayers’ plight by saying: “Consumers are neck deep in debt and have little money left to spend. Much of what they spend they have to borrow, [and] 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.”

As far as a U.S. 522 by pass is concerned, why? Only five West Virginia highways (other than interstates) are designated National Network truck routes. U.S. 522 is not one of them, although it is part of the National Highway System’s “other” pass-through truck routes where trucks have not yet been banned.

So, vote no; ban the trucks; don’t build the bypass; fix our existing roads, instead; and end commissioner Ford’s continuing dream of an industrialized northern Morgan County on U.S. Silica land (which would mean even more trucks).

Whatever happened to fiscal conservatism and responsibility for West Virginians?

John C. Webster

New Hope

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