Hard to kill – government bureaucracy

This story is a pretty good illustration (on a state level) of why government programs refuse to die – a point I made in a previous post.

Georgia State Route 400 is the state’s only toll road and the only reason the State Road and Tollway Authority exists in the first place. Opened in 1993 to bypass heavy traffic to Atlanta’s suburbs, it quickly became popular – and profitable. So profitable that by March 2009 the Tollway Authority had enough cash on hand to retire the 20 year bond 3 years early. The taxpayers were promised in 1993 that the road would “pay for itself” and the toll would be removed. So the bond can be paid off and the state will remove the tolls, right? Uh, no.

It seems that the State Road and Tollway Authority, which would be unnecessary if the tolls were removed, are not about to let that happen.

When the Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked State Road and Tollway Authority officials last year why the booths were still in operation, a spokesperson insisted that it would be impossible to pay off the debt early, since that would mean, er, shutting down the State Road and Tollway Authority.

You mean that the promise to remove the tolls after the bond was paid off was a lie?

Such thoughts, of course, have not occurred to our selfless “civil servants,” who aren’t about to give up their phony-baloney jobs without a fight. The State Road and Tollway Authority’s director, Gena Evans, went on to say that tollway authority “needs to use the excess toll money for salaries of officials who arrange financing of the Department of Transportation.”
So there you have it, folks. Never mind what we promised you twenty years ago; you weren’t supposed to remember that for this long anyway. You’re expected to go on paying the state, forever, because, well, we need that money to pay bureaucrats.

And this process is repeated over and over on all levels of government…


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