Citizens, not central planners, should pick new projects
Re: "Fairfax seeks opinions on taxes, transportation priorities," Oct. 12
Fairfax County's "Countywide Dialogue on Transportation" is a case of choosing your poison. The county wants citizens to choose what to tax so it can proceed with an unspecified list of new road and transit construction.No justification is given for any of the options.Citizens are expected to take it on faith that the projects selected by our central planners are worthwhile -- the very people whose jobs and pay depend on proceeding with them.
Here's a thought:Have drivers contribute to online funds set up to pay for a specific road or intersection they want improved. Priorities will be established by the contributions, so if people don't contribute, they will remain stuck. This scheme will have the desirable effect of having the beneficiaries pay -- not third parties.
For example, if an intersection with four lanes in each direction has an average of 1,000 vehicles per hour pass for three hours, that's a total of 24,000 drivers.If they are delayed two minutes in the morning and two minutes again in the evening, they individually lose a total of 15 hours per year -- or $300 at $20/hour -- and collectively $7.2 million/year. That's usually enough to fix an intersection.
Once properly educated, drivers would make a one-time contribution of $300 to fix the intersection.For the Wiehle-Sunset Hills intersection in Reston, the delay is typically six minutes, so $21.6 million would be contributed.
Roads and intersections needed to support new development must be treated differently.They should be funded by the developers that caused the need.
Frederick A. Costello, Ph.D.
Hollywood can fight poverty by supporting free markets
Re: "Daughter of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck pens letter to senators, CIA," Yeas & Nays, Oct. 11
Pretentious, superficial compassion and narcissism were again on full display by the Hollywood elite. Evidently, actress Jennifer Garner sees no hypocrisy when a multimillionaire like herself chooses to run to the federal government to fund her anti-poverty charity instead of to her equally rich Hollywood colleagues.
It must be nice to feel good about yourself when you can take money away from hard-working Americans without their permission and it doesn't cost you a dime.
Moreover, if Garner wants to fight poverty, she should lead the fight in supporting its best cure: free-market capitalism. And she should start in Hollywood -- one of the places in America where it is most reviled.
If the Scripture verse fits ...
Regarding the vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, this Biblical quote seems appropriate:
"If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet." -Proverbs 29:9