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VivaLFuego Jan 8, 2009 5:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rilestone75 (Post 4013014)
I'm not sure exactly where the money will come from, but the gov. of NY has a great idea, he's proposing a tax on soda, that's right, Coke, Pepsi, etc...:yes:

Perhaps Mr. Cornicelli has a point, why should the burden be placed on drivers coming into the downtown area only? Perhaps they should spread the burden to all off street parking in Cook County. Since the CTA is not only limited to the loop. just a thought.

The endless argument about who pays and who benefits is, I think, one of the driving forces behind why public goods like transit are ultimately typically supported by broad taxes like the sales tax - to paraphrase Churchill I think, the worst system, except for all the others. Continuously variable, cross-subsidizing user fees between various modes of transport would be economically ideal, but politically pretty difficult.

A different solution would be a downtown taxing district to fund downtown transit improvements, a la what was proposed to pay for the various renditions of the Central Area Circulator from the 1960s to 1990s - also fought vigorously by business interests, generally.

If congestion pricing is good for business (personally, I think it generally would be if it's done right), then the focus should be on convincing them why.

ChicagoChicago Jan 8, 2009 6:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rilestone75 (Post 4012948)
"Michael Cornicelli, executive vice-president of the Building Owners and Managers Assn., said, "To simply penalize motorists, to burden them with an additional tax without providing viable alternatives isn't helpful," adding that "the Chicago Transit Authority is in dire need of an expansion."

I couldn't agree with this statement more.

Is it expansion you want, or clean trains?

Chicago3rd Jan 8, 2009 6:15 PM

If we don't get the money back this needs to be put up on Daley's list as money he lost for the city. Sorry the buck stops with him. He was trying to kill us last month with his money cutting into a very basic required service called snow plowing....and yet he was off visiting places in the Fall and lost us $153 million dollars. Two huge mistakes. Maybe Daley doesn't care about Chicago anymore?

Ch.G, Ch.G Jan 8, 2009 6:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4013160)
If congestion pricing is good for business (personally, I think it generally would be if it's done right), then the focus should be on convincing them why.

You're absolutely right. The problem, though, is that today's business culture is so short-sighted, so focused on the next quarter, that businesses refuse to consider long-term investment and delayed benefits. (This mentality is probably at the root of the economic collapse.) I don't see a welcome reception to even the most persuasive argument if it means even a minor cost in the short-term.

Nowhereman1280 Jan 8, 2009 7:08 PM

^^^ That's a silly thing to say. Of course companies are focused on long term growth. Its the government who has a problem with being short sighted. For some reason they can't get it through their heads that we can't just keep borrowing and encouraging our citzens to borrow by driving down the cost of debt. In case you haven't noticed, most US businesses have better long term solvancy right now than the US Federal government...

There are whole sections of accouting departments dedicated to tracking long term growth plans in most companies. Companies are obsessed with growth and expansion and long term success.


Quote:

Originally Posted by arenn (Post 4012810)
I'd suggest the real reason liquor and tobacco are taxed is precisely because the taxes won't control them. That is, they have inelastic demand which means they are easy ways to raise large amounts of money, thought taxes that are highly regressive, incidentally. Also, consumers of those products qua consumers are politically uninfluential.

Actually studies suggest that liquor demand is relatively elastic because for most people, most of the time, it is consumed as a luxury. For example, if times are tough are you going to buy expensive $10 mixed drinks at a bar or a $6 beer? However, the effect of economic cycles on liquor demand is interesting because there is less of a decrease in liquor sales in a rough economy, this is probably because the 10% or whatever it is of the population that uses alcohol do deal with their problems probably increases consumption inversely with the success of the economy. So in effect, the demand is elastic, but the elasticity is muted when it comes to moving in step with economic cycles. However, if you tax the crap out of it when the economy is good, sales will indeed fall.

If you are interested in this topic and have an understanding of Economics here is the study I am basing this off of:
http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/MeetingAb...103622537.html

Ch.G, Ch.G Jan 8, 2009 7:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 4013394)
^^^ That's a silly thing to say. Of course companies are focused on long term growth. Its the government who has a problem with being short sighted. For some reason they can't get it through their heads that we can't just keep borrowing and encouraging our citzens to borrow by driving down the cost of debt. In case you haven't noticed, most US businesses have better long term solvancy right now than the US Federal government...

Don't think I'm arguing this from the perspective of an anti-capitalist. I'm all about private entities and loathe big government and debt spending.

But what's silly is to imply that the 21st Century business gestalt is somehow okay. I guess if you see the Big Three and the former Wall Street financial giants as exceptions (of myopia) rather than the rule (of prudence and careful investing) I could understand where you're coming from; but I think you'd be alone in that assessment.

VivaLFuego Jan 8, 2009 7:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 4013280)
If we don't get the money back this needs to be put up on Daley's list as money he lost for the city. Sorry the buck stops with him. He was trying to kill us last month with his money cutting into a very basic required service called snow plowing....and yet he was off visiting places in the Fall and lost us $153 million dollars. Two huge mistakes. Maybe Daley doesn't care about Chicago anymore?

It's more complicated than this. The city delayed action on congestion pricing while it negotiated the metered parking privatization deal, which was only approved in December and netted the city over $1 billion. The Bush DOT was of course always huge on such privatization deals, so it was indeed sort of curious that they wouldn't grant an extension because of a delay caused by a privatization deal. There's something political going on and I don't think we're getting the whole story.

For example, what if the city gets BRT money from the upcoming "stimulus" instead, without the congestion-pricing strings attached? Wouldn't that be win-win from City Hall's standpoint, since it would avoid another confrontation with the 50 hooting chimpanzees in the City Council?

Or maybe this is a deliberate thumb in the eye by DOT.

Lots of possibilities, but I'm certain there's a lot more to the story than "Daley snooze, Chicago lose."

Mr Downtown Jan 8, 2009 7:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4013160)
The endless argument about who pays and who benefits is, I think, one of the driving forces behind why public goods like transit are ultimately typically supported by broad taxes like the sales tax

I think we've reached (perhaps surpassed) the psychological limit for sales taxes in Cook County. The income tax is probably the fairest, but geography is a problem in Illinois. Downstaters and even many suburbanites see no benefit in meeting Chicago's transportation needs. I can make an economic case that better Chicago transportation enables Chicagolanders to have higher earnings, but it's hard to reduce it to a bumper sticker, and the state constitution wouldn't allow a regional surtax anyway.

A gas tax is (or should be) quite painless to raise, especially at the moment. Just start adding 10 cents a gallon every 120 days until it's $1/gallon higher than it is now. The problem there, of course, is the sound-bite television ad: "Rep. Prudence Goodsense voted for the largest tax increase in Illinois history. What was she thinking? We can't afford four more years of Goodsense."

ardecila Jan 8, 2009 9:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4013457)
The problem there, of course, is the sound-bite television ad: "Rep. Prudence Goodsense voted for the largest tax increase in Illinois history. What was she thinking? We can't afford four more years of Goodsense."

Have you thought about writing for Second City? :haha:


Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4013457)
It's more complicated than this. The city delayed action on congestion pricing while it negotiated the metered parking privatization deal, which was only approved in December and netted the city over $1 billion. The Bush DOT was of course always huge on such privatization deals, so it was indeed sort of curious that they wouldn't grant an extension because of a delay caused by a privatization deal. There's something political going on and I don't think we're getting the whole story.

For example, what if the city gets BRT money from the upcoming "stimulus" instead, without the congestion-pricing strings attached? Wouldn't that be win-win from City Hall's standpoint, since it would avoid another confrontation with the 50 hooting chimpanzees in the City Council?

Or maybe this is a deliberate thumb in the eye by DOT.

Lots of possibilities, but I'm certain there's a lot more to the story than "Daley snooze, Chicago lose."

It's mostly irrelevant anyway, since Bush leaves in 12 days, and with his departure comes a sea change in Washington towards something vastly more urban-friendly and much less privatization-oriented.

Rilestone75 Jan 8, 2009 9:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChicagoChicago (Post 4013267)
Is it expansion you want, or clean trains?

Why can't we have both. Is that too much to ask for?

VivaLFuego Jan 8, 2009 9:54 PM

delete

Chicago3rd Jan 8, 2009 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4013452)
It's more complicated than this. The city delayed action on congestion pricing while it negotiated the metered parking privatization deal, which was only approved in December and netted the city over $1 billion. The Bush DOT was of course always huge on such privatization deals, so it was indeed sort of curious that they wouldn't grant an extension because of a delay caused by a privatization deal. There's something political going on and I don't think we're getting the whole story.

For example, what if the city gets BRT money from the upcoming "stimulus" instead, without the congestion-pricing strings attached? Wouldn't that be win-win from City Hall's standpoint, since it would avoid another confrontation with the 50 hooting chimpanzees in the City Council?

Or maybe this is a deliberate thumb in the eye by DOT.

Lots of possibilities, but I'm certain there's a lot more to the story than "Daley snooze, Chicago lose."

So we would have had 1 Billion plus 153 million but don't...so we have been shorted $153 million. Again...glad this can be written off so easily by some people. We are pinching pennies at snow removal but losing millions by being stupid? Fire the bastards if they clean this mess up.

Money was offered...rules with dates were given. It was very specific.

We are already taking a loss with the $1 Billion over time. That was hard enough to give up.....but this deal has cost us even more money.

Chicago3rd Jan 8, 2009 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4013457)
Downstaters and even many suburbanites see no benefit in meeting Chicago's transportation needs.

But we pay their benefit...not the other way around. Chicago...area pays a higher amount than we get back on most everything we are taxed on including transportation.

the urban politician Jan 9, 2009 2:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 4013822)
So we would have had 1 Billion plus 153 million but don't...so we have been shorted $153 million. Again...glad this can be written off so easily by some people. We are pinching pennies at snow removal but losing millions by being stupid? Fire the bastards if they clean this mess up.

Money was offered...rules with dates were given. It was very specific.

We are already taking a loss with the $1 Billion over time. That was hard enough to give up.....but this deal has cost us even more money.

^ I think Viva's point was that Chicago may be making a deal to get this money anyway but without the strings attached that it has to create a congestion pricing system. So instead of accepting the deal now (with strings attached), why not wait another month or two, let Obama take office, get a massive stimulus bill passed, and get the same money without the strings?

Ch.G, Ch.G Jan 9, 2009 3:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4013667)
It's mostly irrelevant anyway, since Bush leaves in 12 days, and with his departure comes a sea change in Washington towards something vastly more urban-friendly and much less privatization-oriented.

I :hell: :yuck: despise:yuck: :hell: Bush, but privatization-oriented policy can be very urban-friendly; the two goals are not at all mutually exclusive like you suggest.

Nowhereman1280 Jan 9, 2009 3:15 AM

^^^ They are mutually exclusive in the eye's of the National Democratic party and that's what matters. Hopefully Obama will be closer to Clinton than the classic Democratic argument on this issue being from the University of Chicago, the bastion of free market economics.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 4013405)
Don't think I'm arguing this from the perspective of an anti-capitalist. I'm all about private entities and loathe big government and debt spending.

Oh I don't, I just disagree with the idea that businesses today are not planning for the future.

Quote:

But what's silly is to imply that the 21st Century business gestalt is somehow okay. I guess if you see the Big Three and the former Wall Street financial giants as exceptions (of myopia) rather than the rule (of prudence and careful investing) I could understand where you're coming from; but I think you'd be alone in that assessment.
Well that further proves my point, The big three would have gone out of business long ago if the government didn't keep bailing them out (Chrysler) and holding off on increases in emissions standards. The Financial giants would never had made those risky loans had they been able to charge a decent interest rate (7 or 8%) to people with good credit. Instead the government price fixed the price of money (interest rate) to around 5-6% and the banks were forced to find people who were riskier to charge higher rates to. That was the real problem behind the subprime crisis, not just reckless investing, but reckless investing encouraged/caused by the artificially low interest rates forced by the government. Again the government's fault...

the urban politician Jan 9, 2009 3:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4013452)
There's something political going on and I don't think we're getting the whole story.

For example, what if the city gets BRT money from the upcoming "stimulus" instead, without the congestion-pricing strings attached? Wouldn't that be win-win from City Hall's standpoint, since it would avoid another confrontation with the 50 hooting chimpanzees in the City Council?"

^ You know, I really hope you're right here. Because from what I've read, the city has done a lot of work on this BRT system and has had several community meetings--doesn't seem to make any sense for Daley to just let this go without even a second thought or a bit of a fight. This is very weird..

ardecila Jan 9, 2009 4:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 4014311)
I :hell: :yuck: despise:yuck: :hell: Bush, but privatization-oriented policy can be very urban-friendly; the two goals are not at all mutually exclusive like you suggest.

I wasn't suggesting that they were mutually exclusive, but the Obama Democrats DO have both of these attitudes, which can be quite beneficial for the status-quo system of government-run transit authorities.

Attrill Jan 9, 2009 3:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4014257)
^ I think Viva's point was that Chicago may be making a deal to get this money anyway but without the strings attached that it has to create a congestion pricing system. So instead of accepting the deal now (with strings attached), why not wait another month or two, let Obama take office, get a massive stimulus bill passed, and get the same money without the strings?

I think that is exactly what is happening. This was money that New York had lost due to the congestion pricing requirement. I don't think Chciago is going to find it hard to deal with the combo of Obama and LaHood, most likely there is a much better deal in the works.

Mr Downtown Jan 9, 2009 4:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4014377)
the city has done a lot of work on this BRT system and has had several community meetings

This morning's Trib says one of the problems was that the city hadn't held enough public meetings.


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