From Mililani: A Better Vision than Rail
Dear Editor, May 1, 2012
The massive Rail support pillars will be giant 3 story high concrete monuments to insatiable greed and a devastating bankruptcy of vision. The pillars are lauded to lift us to a higher prosperity – but instead – are doomed to weigh us down and crush our children’s future. They will be ugly symbols -- not of hope - but of cynicism that catering to special interests is the best that a politician can do.
A bolder vision would be one in which people on and near the Leeward Coast had jobs near them. A better vision would be one in which parents were close to their children’s schools so they could participate in their education. A beautiful vision would be more family time – instead of 20 mile commute time – twice everyday.
The traffic solution that beats rail in all ways is to put jobs on the Leeward coast where the population is and growing. The ironic tragedy is that this solution would serve special interests even better in the long run.
The real driving force behind Rail is that it will become a massive semi-legal money laundering scheme for politicians and special interests – converting tax dollars into campaign donations, kickbacks and profit for the rich. Rail is a plot hatched by politicians hoping for platinum golden parachutes provided them by the special interests they serve – especially when the economic shibai hits the fan.
The politician will claim that the federal government is satisfied with the financial plan so it must be ok. Huh? A federal government that cannot control its own budget – but approving the City’s? And Since when do we assume that the federal government is above politics and catering to special interests?
The politicians can try to confuse you by throwing all kinds of numbers at you. But use your own eyes and think. We don’t have money for current needs. Our roads have been reduced to a web of angry potholes connected by rough patches of asphalt. The teachers are angry and massive shortages of teachers and nurses are projected. 2 major hospitals have shut down. How can we afford to fix all this and pay billions for Rail?
Like any family budget, if you cannot afford what you already have, it makes no sense to commit yourself to paying for the most expensive luxury car you can find – even if your federally employed uncle who cannot control his own budget says your plan is ok.
Move Oahu Forward says that they need to raise more funds to promote Rail – even after the City has spent tax payer millions doing so. That is so laughable that it is not funny. It was unconscionably unethical to use taxpayer’s money to propaganda Rail when they knew it is a terrible idea and so many of the taxpayers are against it. The City is using our funds to mislead others into supporting what we know is bad for us.
How much of the Rail expenses is off-book? How many of the State and City employees are actually doing Rail related duties but not counted as part of the Rail budget? The Mayor and his staff certainly are spending too much tax payer time on it.
What if the hundreds of millions of dollars already taxed for Rail was instead partially used for education and teachers salaries, health care and road repair? What if that money was actually invested in jobs on the Leeward Coast instead of concrete and steel to nowhere?