Thursday, January 24, 2008

Highways and Conservatives

A true conservative -- one who favors limited government and private solutions to so-called social problems -- does not support tax-funded highways, even when those highways are crowded. But Ross Douthat and Jonah Goldberg do, thereby revealing themselves as big-government "conservatives."

Jonah Goldberg, as you probably know, is the author of Liberal Fascism. In his stance on the matter of highways. he reveals himself as a neoconservative, big-government, twenty-first century fascist.

The answer to the problem of crowded highways isn't to build more of them at taxpayers' expense -- in the style of Hitler and Mussolini -- it is to let the private sector work its magic. Absent government control of highways and the taxes that support highways, more efficient modes of transportation would be offered by private carriers and manufacturers of transportation systems; employers would finally get serious about telecommuting; and some commuters might even opt for simpler lives or forms of employment that don't require commuting.

In sum, the market and lifestyle distortions caused by tax-funded highways would be diminished, if not removed entirely. A pox on "highway fascism."

UPDATE (01/25/08): In a related development, Below the Beltway passes along some good news for taxpayers:

The federal government will not fund the Metro extension to Dulles International Airport without drastic changes, officials said yesterday, effectively scuttling a $5 billion project planned for more than 40 years and widely considered crucial to the region’s economic future.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters and Federal Transit Administration chief James S. Simpson stunned Virginia politicians at a meeting on Capitol Hill yesterday when they outlined what Simpson called “an extraordinarily large set of challenges” that disqualifies the project from receiving $900 million in federal money. Without that, the project would die.

"Federal money" is money taken from taxpayers across the United States.

Related post: "Traffic-Congestion Hysteria" (09 May 2005)