Paying Price Now for Past Policy Decisions

Paying Price Now for Past Policy Decisions
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
By Jayne Carroll
The Hillsboro Argus, Special to The Argus

In a back office of Portland City Hall almost 40 years ago, a young aide to then Portland City Commissioner Neil Goldschmidt took pen to pad and wrote “Disincentives to the Automobile.”

This left-wing blueprint of environmental social engineering became the bible of Portland’s urban utopian planning. Eventually, when Goldschmidt became the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in the Carter Administration, the dogma of “disincentives” went global.

The aim of “Disincentives to the Automobile” was to make the driving of cars so cost-prohibitive, so miserable and so inconvenient that the populace would minimize or stop driving altogether. Meanwhile, the liberal “smart growthers” spent billions of our dollars on non-petroleum consuming, mass transit options.

Their goal: Once we the people cannot afford or tolerate to drive our cars, we will flock to their utopian preferences of bicycling, walking, telecommuting and taking light rail.

Included in their Democratic dream to get people out of our cars were: high fuel costs, massive gas tax increases, reducing available urban parking and drastically raising parking fees on the few remaining spaces.

As population and traffic congestion increased, Disincentives called for taking money necessary to repair and build more roads and diverting our tax dollars into their “greener” options. The plot also called for taxing drivers based on their mileage and car weight. Gas rationing was considered another good motivation for getting us out from behind the wheels of our pollution machines.

Even though the liberals have been inordinately successful in making driving cost-prohibitive and miserable, the public has not rushed in adequate numbers to their transportation alternatives. Even if we had, their exorbitant commuting options could barely handle 10 percent of us.

And so, after decades of plotting to create the exact transportation nightmare we have today, who complains the loudest about the problems “they” intentionally orchestrated?

“Blame those oil company-loving Republicans who couldn’t care less about the impact of gas prices on the little people,” they piously bellow.

The same folks, who have furiously fought to prevent increasing domestic oil drilling and processing, pompously scream the loudest about America’s reliance on foreign oil.

Their deliberately charted utopia has become reality, but because their scheme has had extreme negative economic and political ramifications, they disavow any responsibility for the sorry consequences of their purposeful plot.

The biggest irony of all is that their conspiracy to get us out of our cars has done little for either our livability or our environment. So what? Let’s blame the Republicans.

After all, liberal utopians mean well; it would be wrong to hold them responsible when their bad ideas result in disaster.

Therefore, when the social engineers at TriMet claim they need to raise fares to cover high gas prices, we must condemn President Bush.

Jayne Carroll hosts The Jayne Carroll RadioTalk Show Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. on KUIK AM1360. Her e-mail address is [email protected] For comments or questions, call her at 503-648-0101 or at 503-640-1360 during show hours.

©2008 The Hillsboro Argus