Even the Chamber of Commerce wants this fee

The Seattle-PI has an article New business PAC to County: Support transit tax that should be an eye-opener for Tim Eyman and his anti-tax, anti-government allies.

The article reports on the creation of a new business PAC  that is affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce.

One specific issue the new group feels strongly about is transit funding. This year the Legislature granted King County the authority to impose a temporary $20 vehicle licensing surcharge that would bring in $25 million annually for two years to shore up Metro Transit’s budget, which has been decimated by the slow economy. Metro will likely cut hundreds of thousands of hours of bus service without more money.

CASE [Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy] supports the new license fee, saying businesses would be hurt if employees and customers can’t get to businesses because bus routes are cut. He said the group will make that issue a primary one in grading County Council candidates and incumbents.

Libertarians like Eyman oppose virtually all taxes and all government programs and services, but without them our economy cannot function and our quality of life will be much lower. Things would be very bad indeed without public transportation. Not only would many people be unable to get to worker, but we’d all choke on the congestion and pollution that results from single-occupancy cars. Plus, car use leads to oil imports, terrorism, and wars.

Public transportation is just one example of a “public good” — something from which we all benefit but which a market system is unable to provide. Others public goods include public health, conservation, scientific research, the police, courts, regulations, publicly financed campaigns, investigative journalism, education, and national health care. It’s more efficient, more equitable, and easier for government to provide such services. Not doing so is just foolish.

This is a big topic that can’t be treated completely here. See Government is Good and Government is Great and the references therein.

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