Since gas taxes and tolls aren't generating enough revenue for new government roads, Texas legislators are looking for creative ways of financing them with sales taxes and property taxes. The Texas Tribune reports on these "Transportation Reinvestment Zones." Uh oh.
Roads are a tough issue, since lots of people want more of them, but nobody really wants to pay for them.
It's a shame that Republicans and Democrats never talk about the possibility of competitive privately-owned roads. (Not privately-managed government toll roads!) In some situations, that could be pretty easy to arrange, and it would be a free-market solution to the demand for more roads.
According to Community Impact, the Texas Legislature finally adopted a budget of $197 billion for the 2014-2015 biennium. That's even higher than the $194 billion they were considering earlier.
The 2012-2013 budget was $174 billion.
Both houses of the Texas Legislature are controlled by Republicans. The governor is also a Republican.
You might have heard news accounts that suggest Republicans like to cut government spending. In real life, Republicans very much prefer to increase spending.
If you're interested in cutting government spending, support Libertarians.
Libertarian George Brown ran in the May 21 special election for Pennsylvania General Assembly, District 42. He faced a Republican and a Democrat on the ballot. Brown got 5.5%, which is a relatively strong showing for a Libertarian in a partisan special election.
Congratulations to George Brown! We need more Libertarians running in special elections around the country. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has this article on the election.
According to Richard Sincere of Examiner.com, Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who is running for governor, wants lots of debates -- as long as Libertarian candidate Rob Sarvis isn't there.
According to the article, Cuccinelli wants his Democratic opponent to debate him at least 15 times. When asked if Rob Sarvis should also debate, he said, "Not really, no."
It's odd that Republicans feel a particular fear of Libertarians, since polls frequently show that Libertarian candidates get at least as much support from Democrats as from Republicans.
If the Democrat and the Republican really believe in democracy and well-informed voters, they should be eager to include Rob Sarvis in debates.
Yes, that's the headline of this Texas Tribune article. Texas taxpayers will be forced to spend an additional $105 million just to cover the raise, but that's not enough for the prison lobby.
The union claims, among other things, that "poor pay" leads to corruption. That's right, people aren't responsible for their own corruption, they can blame their salary.
If prison employees aren't getting paid enough, maybe they should go look for a different job.
Libertarians know what this all comes back to: the war on drugs. Without that, we'd have a lot fewer prisons, prisoners, and prison employees, lower taxes, and a lot less corruption to worry about.
Associated Press reports on a problem in Flower Mound, where a solar-panel-loving homeowner is running into trouble with his less enthusiastic neighborhood association.
They have apparently settled their lawsuit, which may have been filed because "the law, as it stands now, is a little vague." The law lets neighborhood associations block solar panels sometimes.
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with solar panels, but there is something wrong with government subsidies. The article doesn't say how much taxpayers were forced to pay for this homeowner's solar panels, but it's probably safe to assume quite a lot.
It certainly is humorous when the solar-panel-loving government pushes people to install solar panels that neighbors find ugly, so the quasi-governmental neighboorhood association pushes back.
And it's extra funny to hear the neighborhood association worry that the homeowner is generating too much electricity.
Libertarians would get rid of the subsidies, which would eliminate most of the nonsense.
Lindsey Bolton is the Libertarian candidate for Virginia House of Delegates, District 48.
The Houston Chronicle reports on a school board candidate who won an election last weekend with one vote.
Her opponent received zero votes.
The article doesn't say how big the district is, but presumably it's very small. Small jurisdictions are great opportunities for Libertarian candidates, who can win pretty easily, and then start applying Libertarian principles in office.
Virginia holds elections for its House of Delegates this November, and Libertarian Laura Delhomme is running in District 47.