Stop using tax funds for transit

Highway improvements would not be so delayed if the unelected “directors” at the transit agencies stopped diverting highway trust funds and gas tax revenues to bankrupt-from-conception public sector transit boondoggles. 

Why don’t we follow state and federal government experts, who have recommended that we fund transport with “user fees.” The unelected directors at the transit agencies like VTA, COG, etc., think that motorists’ gas taxes are “user fees” to pay transit systems’ riders’ fares. And they don’t even charge remunerative (covers all costs) fares, violating the Unfair Business Practices Act, and then falsify their financials by using non-GAAP accounting methods, like Enron did, and Bernie Madoff did—“off-book” accounting, which omits capital and fixed costs. That way, they look less bankrupt. 

Motorists are being forced to pay historically high gas taxes at a time when transit riders are paying only about 1% of the fully amortized costs of their rides. And it’s pure insanity to tax people out of their cars when transit agencies are hemorrhaging our tax dollars, pouring them down a black hole as they drive us down the road to serfdom—the same route taken by the USSR. 

We need to pull the plug on bankrupt boondoggle public sector transit, and also on the unelected directors of transit agencies who govern without the consent of the governed. 

Joseph P. Thompson, Esq. 

Past-Chair, Legislation Committee, Transportation Lawyers Assn.

Too easy to vote?

I am deeply concerned about the integrity of our elections in San Benito County and, indeed, all across California. On Election Day, I delivered my ballot and that of my spouse directly to the office clerk at elections. She quickly glanced at the ballots and accepted them. She did not ask for any identification nor did she open her computer screen to check the signatures on the outside envelopes. 

Anyone could have handed in those ballots, falsified my signature and that of my wife to match the name and address on the envelope and had those ballots counted as legitimate. How many thousands of ballots are being accepted and processed this way? Is it any wonder that many Americans don’t trust the election process in this nation any longer?

Andrew Russo


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