I've got a bone to pick, with several people, regarding the current funding crises for the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority). For those of you who aren't up to date on Chicagoland transit news, let me bring you up to speed. Last year, the CTA threatened a couple of 'doomsday' scenarios - meaning they would increase fares and cut service due to a lack of state funding. Apparently the CTA has been operating on the same budget for about 20 years. Smart. Not to mention the fact that there is no federal money for public transit since half of Washington has their hands in the pockets of big oil. But I digress.
Well, since the state legislature couldn't get their act together and help, our fantastic governor bailed the CTA out w/some borrowed emergency funds, or something. So DOOMSDAY #3 was slated for January 20, unless funding could be provided. Part of the problem is that no one in the Illinois legislature could agree on a funding bill. Or those non-Chicago reps and senators didn't want to give any money for Chicago's public transit. Anyway, long story short, earlier this week, the state house and senate finally passed a bill, to which our brilliant governor gave an 'amendatory veto.' This means he would pass it, but with minor revisions - namely, he wants senior citizens to ride for free. The bill proposes a quarter of one percent sales tax increase. Easy peasy, right?
So there are these whiny sons of bitches complaining about the tax increase because, 1 - all taxes are bad. 2 - they don't want to pay for public transit they don't use. Are you freaking kidding me?????? First of all, that is a barely noticeable tax increase - you have to spend $100 to see 25 cents worth of tax. Big effing deal. Secondly - those jerks in their cars that are clogging up Chicago's roads and freeways need to stop and think what they're saying. Guess what - alot of people have to pay taxes for services they don't use. Take me for instance. I DON'T OWN A CAR! Yet, I have to pay taxes for the roads and freeways. So maybe I'll stop doing that. I don't go to school nor do I have a child in school, but I have to pay for those. Social security won't be around when I'm old and crippled, but I still have to pay that. I don't use Medicare or Welfare or Social Services, but I'm pretty sure I still have to pay for it. It's called the greater good and it's part of being a citizen. Deal with it.
Furthermore, those a-holes also don't realize how transit helps them. 1 - it cuts down on traffic. The more affordable and available that public transit is, the less likely people are to drive. 2 - It keeps people who shouldn't be driving, like teenage girls and blind old ladies from causing 8 car pile ups. 3 - it creates a sense of community that you cannot get while driving in your air conditioned BMW by yourself (or maybe with your fluffy worthless dog). 4 - pollution reduction. Need I say more?
Another pet peeve of mine is how citizens/politicians from other parts of Illinois complain about the problems in Chicago. Guess what - Chicago is the best thing Illinois has going for it. Did I say, hmmmm, when I graduate college I want to move to Illinois? NO. I said, I want to move to CHICAGO so I can get a great job, live in an urban setting, and have Barack Obama for a senator.
I would appreciate a little ounce of perspective from all these naysayers. It only makes sense to fund public transit, you jerks.