I really like Ken of Blue Collar Muse. A lot. So when he asked me to chime in on some website opposing toll roads in Tennessee I felt kinda bad.
There are a few conservatives out there I’ve decided to just live with disappointing. Terry Franks will never love me because I’m friends with a woman who masturbates, my dad thinks my libertarianism is sorely misguided and others out there just, well, let’s say they like Glen Beck more than they like me and that’s just fine. But Ken is a good guy and I like him a lot–his opinions on bankruptcy and toll roads notwithstanding.
See, toll roads suit me right down to the ground. I spend my life paying for schools I don’t send children to, national parks I seldom visit, public radio and television that bores me to tears. I also pay for “art” exhibits of varying levels of quality–nevermind the fact that if I wanted to see them I’d most likely have to travel to one of two costs to eyeball the fruits of my investment. I pay for guns and ammunition that I can’t use to shoot at anybody. With all that money in the defence budget you’d think I’d get a little thrown my way but since I’d probably use it to scare off the cretin who lets their dog poopuddle my front yard every day I can’t have any at all.
[For the record that last paragraph was meant to be slightly humourous. You really don't need to leave a comment about Just Wars or how the kids in public schools today will be the brain surgeons of tomorrow or how the NEA makes us a healthier nation. Of course you can leave such a comment if it makes you feel better...]
Toll roads are the libertarian ideal. If you drive on them you pay for them. If you sit at home and knit an afghan or watch that vomitous Jon & Kate Plus 8 program or eat cheese fondue you don’t pay for the road. Scratch that. Since this is America, land of the tax and home of the partial wage, you do pay for the road. But you will pay less than you used to because the people who actually take their cars on the road will be paying more. And if the libertarians among you have their way the tolls will gradually phase out the taxes currently apportioned to the road(s) in question.
I have recently returned from riding along many roads. My ample arse has recently seen more than 2500 miles of asphalt, concrete and yellow paint. I can only imagine how much this country would benefit if we let a bit of that ground go private.