Reading the tea leaves on the 1 percent TSPLOST sales tax referendum, it looks like it’s going to be a train wreck - for the proponents.
Through the efforts of a handful of civic minded citizens who did their homework and confronted TSPLOST supporters with tough questions, it is now confirmed that “untying Atlanta’s traffic congestion” is a big fat lie. Even as the Untie ad runs on TV, advocates have no choice in public debates but admit that the tax is NOT ABOUT SOLVING TRAFFIC CONGESTION. Now they say it’s really an economic stimulus that, oh by the way, will change metro Atlanta's suburban landscape in to stack ‘em pack ‘em urban complexes clustered around MARTA stations. Who knew, certainly not the people targeted to pick up the tab.
There are other unwelcome surprises hidden in the folds of this tax – like the fact that voters will have little choice but to roll it over after ten years so key projects can be finished, and also the fact that no one in authority admits to having any idea how MARTA’s maintenance and operations costs will be covered in the out years . . . and so on.
There was a time when measures like TSPLOST would have passed with little public attention and no real opposition, but that was before the consequences of government gone wild started hitting Americans where it hurts. Now a huge segment of voters is aware that government apparatchiks at the Federal, state and local levels routinely mislead and outright lie to voters in order to pass measures that have negative financial and/or social ramifications. And that neighbor is precisely why TSPLOST went under the microscope and also why Governor Nathan Deal’s second go around at promising to take down the toll booths on Georgia 400 was greeted with skepticism and scorn.
It's time for office holders who don't understand the whole Tea Party, talk radio, Fox News, Internet thing to get with the program or start looking for real jobs - in the private sector.