Without Taxes, There Would Be No Roads, Right?

This guest post by member Greg Morin was originally published in the Morgan County Citizen on Friday, March 23rd.

Tax discussions invariably devolve to a point where one side finds it necessary to resort to the “roads card.” The assumption with this rejoinder is that roads are a major and necessary function of government. Setting aside the “necessary” aspect for now, let’s address the “major” assumption. At first glance it would seem something as ubiquitous as roads must carry a heavy cost burden: they are everywhere, after all. But first glances are seldom correct. Let’s look at the numbers. In the state of Georgia, the FY2012 budget allocates a mere 0.03 percent of the budget to transportation. The proposed Federal FY2012 budget allocates only 2.8 percent to transportation. How can this major function of government be such a minor expense? The U.S. contains approximately 4 million total miles of all road types. We could repave all of it EVERY YEAR and it would only cost roughly $400 billion (1/10th of the budget).

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Libertarians Blast Budget, Ask “A Billion Dollar Increase is Limited Government?”

With an end to the legislative session in sight, legislators from both houses of the General Assembly confer over the differing budget proposals passed by each. Currently, lawmakers anticipate a cost to taxpayers of $19.3 billion. With that price tag, Libertarians question the fiscal sanity of a budget that grew beyond a combination of the rate of inflation and population growth estimates.

“A five percent increase over last year is hardly fiscally conservative,” says Libertarian Party of Georgia Executive Director Brett Bittner. “Republicans have once again hoodwinked advocates of limited government in this state. The promises made on the campaign trail to cut the size of state government are distant memories as they grow the size of government faster than inflation and the estimated population growth.”

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