Friday, February 20, 2009

It is called, Federalism.


I believe strongly that the federal government's activities in domestic issues is drastically limited by the Constitution and that these activities are left to the States by the tenth amendment.

Below you will find a list of the projects provided by the "stimulus" bill in Tulsa, OK. Wouldn't you agree that $944,612,008 for Tulsa is an absolute waste of tax payer money?

1-5. Roadway Improvements-Improve 74 roadway segments thru pavement rehabilitation and lane widening to reduce congestion, and improve public safety, Gilcrease West Arkansas River Bridge - Charles Page Blvd to West 21st Street, Gilcrease West - Phase 1 - 41st West Avenue to Tisdale, Port Road Extension - Yale Avenue to Sheridan Road, Boulder Avenue Bridge- Design & Construction

Unless these are interstate highways, it is up to the state and its municipalities to fix local streets. And if I'm not mistaken, we just passed a new road improvement plan in Tulsa that has already raised my property taxes. So why do I need the Federal Government to do the same thing?

6-10. Arkansas River Corridor - improve or construct three low water dams and associated sedimentation control, Deepening McClellan Kerr Navigation Channel to 12ft. from 9ft. and add additional barge parking and fleet areas to allow for safe and efficient freight and barge traffic movement, Water System Infrastructure-Construct 18 water distribution, supply, and treatment projects throughout the City of Tulsa to improve the delivery of safe drinking water,
Waste water System Improvements-Construct 4 waste water collection system projects to eliminate health and safety concerns associated with sewage overflows, Flood Control Infrastructure Improvements-Construct 8 storm sewer, channel, culvert, and bridge projects to improve public safety and reduce property damage associated with localized flood events.

You can make arguments till you are blue in the face that these are important to the health and safety of Tulsa and need to be done, but you are missing the point as to the Federal Government's role in these matters. Why am I paying taxes in Oklahoma anyway?

11-13. Airport Terminal Building Roadway Reconstruction - The project will repair and upgrade the Terminal Building Roadway at the Tulsa International Airport. Portions of the roadway system that provides access to the Terminal Building are in need of replacement, Extend Taxi lane November-Alpha -Project constructs approximately 940 feet of taxi lane into the North Development Area. It includes earthwork, concrete paving and minor drainage improvements. This project is currently advertising for bids, Rehabilitate Airfield Pavements - Jones Riverside - Project will rehabilitate a variety of taxiways and taxi lanes throughout the airport including Taxiway Zulu that serves Runway 1R/19L; Taxiway Bravo and Taxi lanes JJ, KK, LL, MM, and NN.

I can admit when I have been over inclusive. These projects appear to be important and need to be taken care. And a good argument can be made for federal intervention. However, is a stimulus bill really the best place for this type of action? $5,700,000 in order to create 34 jobs, and short term ones at that. Give me a break.

14. Amtrak Feasibility Study

Amtrak is a sham to begin with. It isn't even fiscally feasible in New England, why even try here?

15-22. Indigent care regional medical center facility expansion and renovation (providing enhanced services to under served and at risk populations), Regional Medical Informatics Network, Data Warehouse and Electronic Health Records , Electronic Health Record Development
North Tulsa Specialty Clinic, Phase II Cancer Center Satellite and Imaging Center, Martin Regional Library Expansion, Federally Qualified Primary Care Clinic, North Tulsa Regional Wellness Center

Unless these are federal hospitals to begin with, which I'm not sure I like the idea of having anyway, the federal government needs to keep their hands off. If the Hospital isn't competing well enough to create electronic records or expand their library, then maybe they should take a closer look at "why" they can't. Once again, most of these are local issues that can be handled best at the local level. Even If local government wants to get involved, I would need to know more information about each project and a balancing test would be called for.

23-25. Compressed natural Gas (CNG) Fleet Fueling Infrastructure Expansion-Expand the City`s CNG infrastructure to fuel the growing CNG fleet and provide for the conversion of 20 light duty vehicles, Energy Efficient Public Housing Infrastructure Improvements, Energy Efficient Facilities Improvements.

Can I just say I am getting sick of saying the same thing? This is a local matter and the Federal Government needs to stay out of it. Leave it to Oklahoma and its municipalities to decide if it is really worth it to spend tax payer money on "Energy Efficiency". Better yet, let the tax payers tell them whether or not they want their taxes spent on such frivolous projects, when our streets can't even be properly maintained.

26-29. Digital Infrastructure Conduit Expansion, Regional Training Center - A regional fire training center to provide fire and homeland security training for Tulsa and surrounding communities, Police Public Safety Facility Improvements, Railroad Crossings - At Grade Safety Improvements - Union Pacific rail line from 1st Street to Peoria Ave.

Local Government, not federal. Though railroad crossing improvements may fall into a necessary intervention by the fed. I would need more information on the Union Pacific rail line.

30. Early Childhood Education Centers - construct ten education centers to serve at risk population.

Using federal funds to construct education centers leads to further federal dictation on how parents must raise and teach their children. The fed has the power to attach mandates to funds received by a state or municipality. This is a slippery slope that has already cause such a detriment to the educational system in America.

31-33. Tulsa Regional Urban Rail Infrastructure, Transit System Improvements - ADA compliant passenger shelters, hybrid lift vans, and hybrid transit coaches for under served areas and population, Sidewalk Infrastructure Improvements-Construct 5 sidewalk projects that improve pedestrian access to transit connections.

LOCAL ISSUES!!! Urban rail in Tulsa is unsustainable to begin with, so why in the world are we building an infrastructure for it?

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