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The invasion from the north

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Maybe it’s just because I’m an old-time Southerner, but it just seems to me bad things always seem to come drifting down from the north. Back in the 1860s the South was invaded by the North, and after the War Between the States the carpetbaggers came down from the north like a swarm of locusts hoping to pluck the South as clean as a freshly-picked field of cotton.

Ellis County’s large and unfriendly neighbor to the north is now looking with lust at her taxpayers to help fund some of the problems Dallas County has. Why don’t people just handle their own messes without trying to draw others into the jam? Perhaps it’s because Dallas County taxpayers are getting a belly full of the shenanigans those politicians up there are pulling, and are beginning to murmur and grumble about how high their tax bills are.

Not too long ago there was a big meeting in Waxahachie extolling the virtues of extending DART’s rail transit system into Ellis County and in particular, to Waxahachie and Midlothian. Some folks at the time compared those North Central Texas Council of Governments people to those carpetbaggers of old.

Anyway, the long and short of it seems to be that Dallas County citizens might just be getting tired of toting the freight on this colossal DART boondoggle alone. A check of revenues and expenses shows that DART has failed to earn enough revenue to meet expenses every year of its existence. In the years of numbers I have, the best year showed revenue at about 15.2 percent of expenses meaning taxes had to cover almost 85 percent of the cost of the thing. That’s a lot of making up the taxpayers had to do!

A gentleman furnished me some studies done by reputable researchers indicating mass transit isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

At least not what the proponents of it are hyping.

Seems all the major forms of mass transit have some inherent flaws that make it less economical that the old family hooptie.

For those of you who are too young to remember, a hooptie is the family auto.

Among the reasons mass transit such as rail is being touted is the "environment." One study I read indicated with its declining ridership, public transportation does not and cannot reduce pollution simply because some transit vehicles are overcrowded during peak hours but almost unoccupied otherwise and as a result the energy consumption is greater per passenger mile than that of private automobiles. Also, unlike automobiles, public busses are becoming less, not more, energy efficient.

Another reason touted by proponents of mass transit is the reduction in traffic and congestion. This particular study indicated that reduction in traffic congestion is minimal considering the level of government subsidies for mass transit. Many people, like me, would have to continue to use their personal autos because of the requirements of their jobs. So, estimates are that if transit ridership was doubled and the ridership gain came entirely from drivers who left their cars to ride public transit, the number of vehicle miles traveled by car would decline less than three percent.

I’m sure one of their motives has to do with the current financial downturn. Politicians all over surely are catching heat from their constituents about increasing taxes and the tax burden the way things are. It’s only logical. A lot of people are hurting financially and any additional strain could put many families out of business. Ah, but government must go on and grow. It must expand its reach and touch more folks so it can get more revenue to feed its hunger.

This time last year citizens who lived in the city limits of Midlothian were referring to those of us who lived in the county as "freeloaders." Not very flattering and I don’t think very true, but anyway, now it’s their turn to be on the receiving end of the slam.

A state representative from Dallas named Allen Vaught, Democrat whose address is in the Gaston Avenue area has sponsored a bill that would allow Ellis County to be annexed into the Dallas County Hospital District.

In the Background and Purpose of the Bill’s Analysis paper it states: "Dallas County Hospital District provides unreimbursed health care to residents outside the county who do not pay taxes to fund the county’s hospital. Dallas County taxpayers are paying for this unreimbursed care.

Dallas County’s Parkland Memorial Hospital provides more than $20 million in unreimbursed health care annually to residents outside the county, a large portion of which comes from serving the area’s indigent population."

So, all you Ellis County residents freeloading on Dallas County need to pony up and pay your fair share of all this.

Sound familiar? Well, it should. It appears every government providing services of some kind or another perceive they’re being cheated out of revenue be it through Internet sales or some other method, and the remedy is to dream up some scheme to get more tax money.

I’m sure the environmental wackos will love one study’s conclusion which stated that neither the auto nor mass transit would reduce energy consumption in urban passenger transportation.

The only option would be to reduce population so as to provide more affordable housing for people to live nearer their work. It encouraged land use controls to prevent the construction of workplaces unless there is plenty of housing nearby so workers can either walk or bike to their jobs.

It appears the bottom line is that government is determined to control more and more of your life until there is no freedom or liberty left to enjoy. So, enjoy it while you can friends.

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