Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Troy's Disappearing Line in the Sand

A few weeks ago I complimented the city of Troy, Michigan, for its realistic interpretation of public finances.

Troy has figured something out. It has determined that the most destitute country in the history of the solar system does not have the money to spend on a project whose benefits were over-hyped, was not needed, and despite the fact that the $8 million necessary to construct the albatross was coming from the feds, was not free.

The people in Troy have discovered something that should make them eligible to win next year's Nobel Prize for Economics--namely that federal tax dollars still are paid by those who live in small, medium, and large towns across America; they are not created arbitrarily at the wave of some federal bureaucrat's wand.


Troy is but one declining city in one declining state in what amounts to a bankrupt country, and as it turns its nose up at this project, countless other entities across the nation are greedily peeping toward the sky hoping the shadow of Father Bird Obama will regurgitate some borrowed Chinese money down their gluttonous throats for their own versions of a pet project--easily wiping out Troy's common sense on the order of a thousand times or so.
As it turns out, the city of Troy decided that it wanted some nourishing regurgitation after all--but not until the project was stripped clean of waste. By shaving 400 square feet off the original proposal, the project will now cost only $6.2 million instead of the originally proposed structure estimated to cost $8.4 million. And Troy would like itself a piece of that action. (In fairness to Troy's Mayor Janice Daniels, she still voted against the measure.)

By shaving off 400 square feet the project's cost has been lowered significantly. That was some expensive square footage there--roughly coming in at $5,500 per square foot. The smaller and redrawn project will cost a mere $3,100 per square foot which I find absolutely alarming...what kind of slum are these bureaucrats trying to push over on us? No gold toilet seats? No granite counter tops?

Holding fast to principle, the council also dispensed itself with the estimated $30,000 of annual maintenance that would have been its portion of upkeep. Voila! No cleaning needed!

While the opulence of the structure is not irrelevant here, it is the blatant ignorance that council member Wade Fleming displays that drives me bonkers (well, that and the CMU Chippewas football team.) "The bottom line is this is federal money. Like it or not, it'll be spent on a transit center somewhere in this country if we do not use it in Troy."

Fleming is too blind to see the genuine bottom line he claims to have found, even after he has tripped over it. Fleming, multiplied by the millions of bring-home-the-bacon bureaucrats all across this once great land, has helped to spend this country into destitution, its future generation into servitude, and its ideals into an asterisk within the history books.

So, put the grand kids on the hook for Troy's version of the Taj Mahal. When they are old enough to begin paying their taxes this transit center will be key in getting commuters from the Detroit area to Chicago in approximately the same amount of time it will take them to get there by car.

Congratulations America! An enlightened society will get there no faster, it will just depart in style.

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