Every once in a while the mask slips and the ruling class folks tell us precisely who they are and why we shouldn’t trust them. There’s no better example of this than a tweet put out today by the Secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), Shawn Wilson.
We’ll show you a screen shot, because Wilson deleted the tweet very soon after he published it.
This occasioned a sizable tempest in a teapot, as you might imagine. It took very little time for Americans For Prosperity, the organization which is being credited/blamed for defeating the gas tax increase today, to seize on it…
And then there was this…
The opposition to the gas tax was met with the accusation that the opponents are for bad roads, but this was a canard from the start. Everyone in Louisiana knows the roads are terrible, and everyone, save for the owners of car repair shops who sell tires and perform wheel alignments, wants those roads improved.
But as AFP said, and Rep. John Schroder has said, and lots of others have said, the system into which funds will go for the purpose of road improvements is badly flawed and has performed exceptionally poorly. As such, there is very little faith – for very good reason – in the idea that DOTD will use money from a new gas tax wisely. DOTD’s record is a long one, and it’s terrible.
And what’s more, road projects in Louisiana have historically been doled out in an unmistakably stupid fashion, driven by politics rather than data or even common sense. That’s why you have bridges over the Mississippi in the middle of nowhere (Donaldsonville and somewhere south of St. Francisville) rather than in Baton Rouge where at least one more is needed, and it’s why every politically connected muckety-muck has blacktop on the way to his hunting camp while there’s only a half-assed execution of a road plan in places like Bossier, Ascension, Livingston and St. Tammany Parishes.
And Wilson, who was a nobody until John Bel Edwards put him in charge of a state agency with a terrible track record and 4,700 employees whose actual work nobody seems to be able to account for, and since that appointment has done nothing other than harangue Louisianans about the need for more tax dollars to do the job DOTD has failed to do for decades, just put out a tweet insinuating that road projects will continue to be driven by petty politics.
No wonder he deleted the tweet. Given the shambles Edwards’ team has made of his agenda and the fallout today, it wouldn’t surprise us in the least if Wilson was sent packing for it. He had to be on thin ice to begin with, given that he’s spent the entire year agitating for tax increases to fund road improvements and utterly failed to generate any public support for that plan. Now that he’s made the public suggestion DOTD’s work operates on the basis of patronage and pork, one struggles to see how the public will ever support tax increases to fund DOTD in the future.