Superhighways for PA! (Just Don't Ask About the $)

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Apr. 12, 2010

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Jack Wagner speaks.

The fourth Democrat running for Pa. governor has ideas of his own, as it turns out. Well, they're more like wishes. Ideas, in politics, often involve plans. There’s not much of a plan here.

Nevertheless, Wagner just raised Joe Hoeffel’s pot and proposed literally rebuilding Pennsylvania’s infrastructure (take that, lib!), as well as adding broadband Internet to rural areas. The Inquirer’s money quote on Wagner comes right here: “The Democratic candidate for governor was reluctant, though, to say how much all of this would cost or where he'd find the money for it.”

But here’s what Wagner does know: “You need bipartisan support” and “all options are on the table.” This is the very first time a politician has made those two statements.

Problem, of course, is that almost all candidates agree with federal and state estimates that say our infrastructure—roads and bridges mostly—are crumbling like a sugar cookie recently pulled from under a couch cushion. Most of the money gone to fixing infrastructure over the last few years has been borrowed cash, and it has pretty much been accepted that we’re going to need to raise taxes if we want to increase our standards, since no one wants to agree to anything else.

Wagner won’t rule out a tax on tires, higher driver’s license fees, a gasoline tax hike and higher registration fees for cars costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you’re looking for a lit bulb at the end of the tunnel, this is it: Wagner has a Jetsons-like future in store for us Pennsylvanians, even if he doesn’t know how he’s going to do it: “[His plan] included building high-speed rail connections among Pennsylvania cities, making the turnpike "a model national superhighway," and convening a "blue-ribbon committee to offer realistic solutions to the bottlenecks throughout Pennsylvania, including the Schuylkill Expressway and Parkway East in Pittsburgh.”

Zoom, zoom.

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1. Vince said... on Apr 14, 2010 at 04:18AM

“Blah blah blah. All talk. There has been "talk" about expanding 422...it will take 13 years at least before work even starts!

Were were the leaders over the years when all the road maintenance should have taken place. Where the the money go? Why is it that none of these guys ever go to jail?

We have the worst roads IN THE NATION! Get rid of PennDoT. Get rid of tolls. Get rid of the choke point on the Blue Route. No environmental impact bullsh*t. Just start building roads!!!”

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