Come to TSPLOST debate for both sides
I was excommunicated from the “Atlanta Students for Progressive Transit” Facebook page two weeks ago.
At first I thought the administrator had simply blocked me from any further postings, but then discovered that every one of my prior posts had also been eradicated from the site, like a cyber age book burning.
I’d frequented the page for about a month to see what some of tomorrow’s leaders thought about the $7.2 billion in new taxes that proponents are asking us to spend on road, bus, and train projects. I have a number of serious concerns about the tax, and thought social media would be a great way to connect for some meaningful discussion. I got my answer: “We’ve made up our minds, so don’t confuse us with the facts.”
A bunch of radicals? Probably not — clicking the names of other posters takes you to their personal Facebook page, and many are attending our state’s best universities.
I chalk up their naive perspective to fleeting youth and not having faced years and years of life’s challenges (at least I hope their blind following isn’t permanent!).
As their Facebook title suggests, these students zealously support deeply subsidized, under-serving, government-operated buses and trains that account for over half the project tax money you’re being asked to approve on a July 31 ballot.
What’s equally alarming, though, is their lack of critical thinking on the issue, and sticking their heads in the sand to avoid facts and different opinions. They launched keyboard assaults armed only with a strong dose of emotion (“I need MARTA to get to GSU, so government’s got to provide it!”).
If you’ve listened to the radio or checked your mailbox, you’ll know they fit right in with the $8 million public relations campaign to convince us to impose the 10-year tax on ourselves.
That tax will buy, among other projects, $931 million to fix old MARTA elevators, signs, lights, etc, and a $689 million project for buses (or streetcars; authorities will figure out which after the vote) that proponents estimate will carry only 9,250 riders. That’s about $75,000 per rider).
This is a significant issue and the $8 million crowd isn’t telling you the full story. They, on the other hand, will say I’m short-sighted and don’t see all the opportunities.
Why don’t you decide?
Commissioner Steve Brown and I shall debate the issues with the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s VP for Transportation, and a speaker selected by the Metro Atlanta Voter Education Network on Tuesday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Harvest Christian Community Center, 383 North Glynn (Ga. Highway 85) in Fayetteville.
Admission is free and the moderator will take questions from the audience (that’s you — ask away!).
Peachtree City, Ga.