Letter From Austin: No Surprise Here

by Julie Drenner on August 4, 2011

photo by rcbodden/Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license

No surprise here.  State run businesses backed by state subsidies cost taxpayers dearly.

Due to decreases in travel and the lagging economy, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is subsidizing almost 70 percent more of its toll roads than originally expected.  The roads bring in $100 million less than their operating expenses. Thus, the state must subsidize them with gasoline tax revenue earmarked for other road construction and maintenance.

Unfortunately, this news is not new. Whenever the government embarks on the business better left to the private market, the taxpayers always end up picking up the tab.  In this case, it is even more disturbing since Central Texas drivers will continue to experience major traffic congestion with no end in sight.


What is sometimes lost on those who are not fortunate enough to live on the Gulf Coast, is the range of havoc hurricanes cause even when they do not make landfall.

For example, Tropical Storm Don, which was downgraded to a depression, halted oil production and mandated evacuation of production platforms and drilling rigs. Such a shutdown reduced oil production by 10.9% and 6.6% of natural gas production.

I just wish we would have received a little rainfall for our troubles.

If you don’t understand why USA Today named Texas the best place to live, then check out these ten reasons why our economy is growing.

Until next time,

Julie Drenner, Texas director

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