For years we've contended that Rick Perry is the same ol' Democrat as he was in yesteryear before he switched parties and became a Republican (when it was politically expedient)...this ought to prove it. Who did Perry tap to carry his water for higher taxes and tolls, particularly public private partnerships (erroneously called private toll roads) where the published toll rates are 75 cents PER MILE to use our public roads? An outgoing Democrat Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell. When both parties are calling for the same thing, is there really any difference between them anymore? Perry touts his conservative credentials as he sets himself up for a presidential run in 2012, but his record clearly shows he can tax, borrow, and spend just as voraciously as the Democrats he's so fond of maligning. There's a word for that -- HYPOCRITE!
Pennsylvania Democrat urges Texans to tax, toll, borrow for roads
12:00 AM CST on Wednesday, January 5, 2011
By MICHAEL A. LINDENBERGER / The Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN – Texas transportation leaders welcomed one of America's most outspoken Democrats on Tuesday to a stage often used in the past by Gov. Rick Perry, and Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania spent nearly every minute of his fiery speech calling for more taxes, more tolls and more borrowing to salvage what he called the country's fast-deteriorating highways and bridges.
"This is a seminal test for what kind of country we want to be," said Rendell, whose second and final term in the Keystone State winds down this month. "Do we want to look inward and be selfish and worry only about the moment? Or do we want to be the America we always have been, the America that didn't ever see a challenge it couldn't overcome and, yes, the America that plays football in the snow."
When the National Football League postponed an Eagles-Vikings football game scheduled for last Sunday because of weather, Rendell called it proof that America was turning into "a nation of wusses" – a theme he continued Tuesday as he spoke to an army of engineers, consultants, builders, bankers and local elected officials who gather each year for the Texas Department of Transportation's policy forum.
Perry, who has appointed all five commissioners who oversee the Texas Department of Transportation, has often spoken at the forum to urge lawmakers to fund transportation and endorse the privatization of toll roads.
This year, he left the speaking to Rendell, whose political philosophy couldn't be more different from the Texas governor's. But the two governors agree on one point that has long been of paramount importance to Perry: the need for more privately financed toll roads.
"You've used private toll agreements to build roads more effectively than any state in America," Rendell said approvingly, perhaps because lawmakers in his state quashed a deal he brokered to sell tolling rights to the Pennsylvania Turnpike for $16 billion.
In Texas, at least three major privately financed toll projects are under way, including two in the Dallas area, and supporters of the concept will be pushing the Legislature to expand their use once lawmakers reconvene later this month.