My purpose for writing this post is to elevate the "Trojan Horse Socialism Project" that underlies the progressive rail tax initiatives (and their promoters) in Tampa, Florida.
Light Rail Tax and High Speed Rail Tax are initiatves promoted by Obama and Florida progressives as part of the $780 billion wastefull Obama "business nonstimulus package". Both Light Rail and High Speed Rail, however, are as equally non-effective as business stimulus as any of the other wasteful initiatives that the Obama stimulus has been used for thus far. Actually, High Speed and Light Rail go even futher as detriments. They are smoke-screened, candy coated, examples of intentional economy destroyers similar to ObamaCare. They are not designed to stimulate but rather they are designed to bankrupt local and federal governments under the false premise of assisting people. The overall concept is actually no different than the rest of Obama's stimulus initiatives - they both have nothing to do with empowering people or small business and they have everything to do with overwhelming/destroying the economy and greatly expanding government bureaucracy, tax, social engineering, and control - toward Socialism.
When you dig underneath the myth of High Speed/Light Rail, which is depicted as as an improvement to the quality of life, you easily find that it is actually merely a method to Social Engineer and downgrade the quality of life. It is also a method to squelch the American Dream and move toward a vision of cities that were designed around Communist Russia and East Berlin, before the walls came down. The supposed reports of other foreign countries and other U.S. cites of increased quality of life and less traffic, from rail, are lies. Rail has, at best, minimal value, even in the most dense of dense areas, and only in the downtown inner city area at that. Even NYC does not have the density to make it cost effective and certainly Tampa and Florida overall do not. Rail does not bring or create jobs and new business, but rather it squelches them. I will include a number of sources that illustrate and explain this with greater detail.
It is no accident, that when you examine the money trail for Tampa Light Rail transportation growth studies, you uncover who is behind the rail tax, and it certainly isn't the Tampa voters. You see that it isn't an accident that this initiative was pushed by local progressive groups grouped under the progressive umbrella organization, Move Hillsborough Forward. Low and behold, what you find at the beginning of the proposal are studies funded by EARMARKS to various Democrat and Republican legislators in Tampa and Florida with linkage to numerous and progressive special interest groups and businesses. These beginnings, which started through EARMARKS allocation, carry through to the current drivers of this detrimental proposal. The rechanneling of funding, via EARMARKS, to this rail transportation study initiative should probably be investigated.
The rail tax proposal is not on the ballot because people asked it to be. It is on the ballot because a group of Hillsborough County bureaucrats, associated with Move Hillsborough Forwrd directed to put it on the ballot. If it was truly a peoples choice, the beaurocrats would have the exact proposed routes and the exact proposed cost before putting it on the ballot the ballot to chose about. They have neither. They do not have the chosen route and they do not have a valid proposed cost. They spew out a few manufactured figures but none are able to hold up under scrutiny and the anwsers they give in rebuttal are, "cost is a myth" and "we simply hope money will come."
Florida has a gasoline tax of which the primary initial purpose was meant for the betterment of roads. Through the years, with the introduction of EARMARK rules, this gas tax became shanghaied and abused by progressive politicians, both Democrat and Republican. Through earmarks, they took money that should have been spent on roads and spent for multiple other uses other than roads and multiple uses outside of the scope of transportation. The earmark rules allowed local progressives and special interest groups to begin transportation study proposals (that supposedly were promoted by the overall voter constituency of Tampa- which they weren't). The earmark evil was compounded by the poor leadership of a progressive leaning GOP that empowered those like Charlie Crist who promoted a Florida filled with progressivism, bailouts, earmark pork projects, and support for Obama projects.... to enhance the road to a socialist Florida. Crist created a strong relationship with Obama and it has grown and grown. (See the Crist/Obama hug). Crist will no doubt be soliciting Obama for a job in his cabinet once he looses the Senate race to Marco Rubio.
This rail tax issue is intimately related to the statewide liberal progressive atmosphere that got created in Florida since the poor leadership for the NRSC endorsed an unwanted candidate and RPOF of Florida, Crist, and Greer. The beltway imposed external GOP selection of these two before the primary, it reeked havoc on the Florida GOP legislature, who justifiably did not support these two internally, and the Florida GOP became resigned.
Crist and Greer kept all GOP funds from going to Conservative issues and conservative candidates and used the funds for their own elections and to promote progressive issues like High Speed and Light Rail. This fostered and grew Florida legislators and local councils that promoted bigger government, higher taxes, government handouts and far left liberal policies. Crist is a staunch supporter of Light and High Speed Rail tax and he grew local politicians, (both Republican and Democrat) to promote this issue for him.
Many progressive [Republicans] were hatched and fostered out of the above NRSC endorsement of Crist progressivism, to include the one was is among the top driving force for the 14% Tampa Light Rail Tax increase - Hillsborough County Republican Councilman, Marke Sharpe. Sharpe is a committed and passionate politician and promoting Light Rail is his right. He demonstrates zero integrity, however, in representing himself as a conservative and a Republican. There is no integrity in pushing for such a progressive outlandish tax program such as this while flying the flag of "fiscal conservative" and "conservative Republican" ...of which he is neither. Sharpe is actively campaigning for the 14% increase Light Rail Tax with progressive Democrat Mayor Iorio.
There is a reason that when Obama visited Tampa, he got off the plane and bowed to Mayor Iorio. Although I believe Obama would bow to anyone that supports Socialism or Communism, Mayor Iorio has been a one woman superwomen Socialist for Obama. She has managed to deflect any and every conservative initiative and job creating initiative for Tampa and concurrently jockey and shill for Obama Socialist programs like ObamaCare...and Light/High Speed Rail.
In order to begin the groundwork for High Speed Rail, Tampa Mayor Iorio and a group of Republican and Democrat Progressive Council men are pushing a proposal to be voted for in Nov. In order to begin Rail in Florida, Hillsborough County (Tampa) bureaucrats are forcing a proposal of a 1 penny on the dollar sales tax increase (which is actually a 14% sales tax increase, the highest in Florida) to pay for this. This initiative is being pushed to validate the initiatives of Obama's high speed rail. Without connecting Light Rail, the Obama high speed rail will be proven even more of a waste than it already is and if there are no connections it will undermine Obama's already zero integrity rating to minus zero and further. Mr Sharpe and Mayor Iorio are shilling for 14% Light Rail Tax increase with every ounce of energy they have..
Florida media, especially the Tampa Tribune, have distorted the truth about Light/high Speed Rail and they have been a stalwart supporter of it. They similarly have been stalwart supporters of anything that supports progressives issues and progressive candidates. The Tribune NEVER supports Conservative issues and Conservative candidates. This holds true for most all of the Florida media minus a very small few. The Florida media is 100% in the tank for progressive Socialists with Crist at the top of their list for support.
When confronted with the opposition to Light Rail, the powerful group of Tampa progressive politicians, businessmen, lawyers, and biased media, most all are never able to effectively answer the opposition questions, especially regarding cost vs value of rail. They most always give answers like "we can't just do busses" to which experts say we absolutely can and SHOULD use PREDOMINANTLY new bus technology. they are better cheaper, and for more flexible. The progressives also argue that Tampa can't do any more roads because there is no room. This could not be further from the truth. Again, the expert view, from Heritage and Cato, is that Tampa is one of the MODEL cities for elevated road construction for the entire country . The double deck highway linking Tampa to Brandon is setting the example for the country on how to double the utilization of highway road space without going significangly wider but instead rather going vertical. I had doubts that this would work but is proving to be revolutionary and excellent. And these double deck roads are strong enough to hold massive weight on them.
So there absolutely ARE solutions other than endless billions of rail tax for zero value. It is simply that the Transportation committe, who is supposed to be representing the voters, doesn't want to hear them. They simply want to DICTATE and design according to their SOCIAL DESIGN. And once again the disgraceful one sided progressive Tampa media continuously rejects and ignores any opposition to the Light Rail Tax. The media wants their progressive rail even if there is no value in it and it will bankrupt the community. The progressive body also continuously argues that other cites have it and we don't. But they never allow the truth to be told that every city, other than possibly Tokyo Japan, are sorry that they have the rail because it is NOT AT ALL worth the billions it cost to implement and maintain and it does not give back value.
Charlie Crist along with the rest of the Democrats, and unfortunately some progressive Republicans, like Mark Sharpe, are supporting increased rail tax and increased rail spending in a time when even liberals are clear that these things are extreme sins...especially now. Any Republican who is supporting this 14% Rail Tax increase, or ANY tax increase or massive spending increase should be rejected as a Republican and voted OUT....PERIOD.
Thank God for those like Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Allen West, Pam Bondi, and Adam Putnam who are strong conservatives who will fight agasint progressive social engineering rail tax boondoggles. This group, when elected will do nothing but great things for Florida and reverse the slime that has been enacted by Obama, Crist, progressive Dems and unfortunately progressive Republicans .
The real HEROES in the fight against this progressive rail tax initiative are Sharon and Karen who are the founders of the Tampa Tea Party and Tamp 912 Groups respectively. Sharon is leading the overall fight against rail tax and has contributed to an additional website to promote the fight and to foster information (see NoTaxForTracks). This website has a wealth of information to include professional input form both Heritage and Cato that is both definitive and unrivaled in clarity. Mr Wendall Cox from Heritage has also assisted in a live radio broadcast in support of Sharon and effectively shattered the myths and distortions being prompted by progressive legislators and the extremely biased progressive Tampa media.
Here is the website dedicated to this issue, NoTaxForTracks . Any support from anyone in or outside of Florida would be greatly appreciated. This site gets very minimal donations. The progressive groups promoting rail are probably approaching in the millions.
Here is one of the definitive articles, from CATO Institute that presents professional analysis by one of the world's experts on Light/High Speed Raul initiatves, Randall O'Toole , and why they should NOT be pursued. Here is a link you can use to listen to multiple sides of the issue to include additional professional analysis from Wendall Cox, from Demographia and Heritage (approximately at 16:40 minute mark into audio). Wendall sums it and nails the debate perfectly.
Both Sharon and Karen have led the fight in Tampa to fight progressive liberal entrenchment here and to promote conservative candidates and initiatives. They are gifts to this community and they have been enormous support for me. I can not acknowledge them enough.
I urge and request anyone in the Hillsboroguh County area to vote NO on the 14% progressive rail tax initiative. (Note: It is inaccurately represented on the ballot as a 1% tax). The exact wording on the sample ballot is "Countywide Transportation System Construction Maintenance Operations Through the Levy of a One Percent Sales Surtax" It is actually a 14% sales tax increasewhich will make Tampa the HIGHEST sales tax in the state of Florida. Again this tax and spend behemoth is the exact OPPOSITE of what will bring small business to Tampa and Florida overall. We need a CUT on sales tax and spending, not an increases. Cutting the business sales tax in Tampa and Florida is what will bring jobs here. Increased rail taxes and increased rail spending will simply kill more Florida jobs and will further increase the progressive quest to kill the AMerican dream in both Florida and the entire country.
The underlying purpose of Obama's country wide progressive rail tax initiatives are to foster the growth of Socialism in both Florida and the U.S. overall ....and to kill Capitalism and kill the American Dream.
Say NO to Obama. Say NO to Socialism. Say NO to progressive D/R's. SAY NO TO RAIL!!