Are all politicians naturally stupid, or do they become stupid after they get sworn into office?
This is a question that mortal man may never be able to answer.
One thing I believe on which you will get little to no debate is that politicians are certainly stupid while they are IN office.
Part of my reality is an 84-mile commute to work each week day which has 13 miles on I-85. As I drive in major traffic jams, I listen to loud rock’n’roll, mostly from the 1970s, and I have time to reflect on the hot topics of the day, such as: will that Kim Kardashian girl really going to have Kanye’s baby, will Obama (or the rest of us) survive his second term in office, and is the Lexus Lane working as planned?
“The Lexus Lane,” you say. “What in the hell is the Lexus Lane?”
Well on Atlanta, Georgia’s interstate highway 85 north, just outside the I-285 loop around the city, in Gwinnett and Dekalb counties, the highway has the far left lane running both north and south, set aside for drivers who choose to pay a special tax to use it. To drive in the far left lane, you must have what we call a Peach Pass (because Georgia fancies itself as the Peach State, I guess). You pay the State for the Peach Pass and they give you an electronic sensor that sits high inside your windshield. If you drive in the Lexus Lane, the sensor in your car talks electronically with the sensors on the light poles that run down the center of the highway. After you ride in the Lexus Lane for a certain amount of miles, the state sends you a notice that tells you how much money you owe.
This Lexus Lanes are set up with certain areas where you can actually enter and leave the Lexus Lane. The sensors are placed at these locations to track how far you actually drive in the Lexus Lanes. The length of your drive determines the cost of using the Lexus Lane.
The politicos say they thought up this pay-to-ride concept to make a little money for the state to fund future highway projects. Well it cost $60 million to set up the 15-mile stretch of Lexus Lanes. Since October 1, 2011 when it opened, the project has generated a little more than $3 million. At this rate, it will take 20 year for the state to actually make a dime for future highway projects. Would the State have a better chance to make money if it hired a really good poker player and sent he/she to Vegas with the $60 million (with a chaperone of course).
Although Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal has cut the price of the maximum-length ride on the Lexus Lanes from $5.50 to $3.05, the lanes still see little use.
I would bet that even on a good day, the Lexus Lane has less than 5% of the traffic. This means that about 5 out of each 100 cars get to ride in the special lanes. In the attached picture I counted an 108-1 ratio of regular cars to Lexus Lane cars (that is 9/10s of one percent, which would mean that 9 out of every 1000 cars is using the Lexus Lane). As a commuter on this highway, I can verify that the traffic flow looks like this every day during rush hour, both early and late. Unfortunately, all the Lexus Lanes do is make the traffic more congested in the regular lanes. When you take 13% to 20% of the road and effectively let no one drive in it, it makes for a worse traffic jam, plain and simple.
Maybe I am wrong, but I thought this is still America. It seems that if you can afford to pay highway taxes, pay ad valorem taxes, pay taxes to buy cars, pay taxes to buy gas, pay taxes to get a driver’s licenses, pay for state forced emission control tests, and pay for state forced auto insurance, then you ought to be able to drive in any lane on the damn road that you want.
I think the Lexus Lanes are unconstitutional. I just wish I had the money to challenge it in court.
I also wonder what the State would do if everyone just challenged it every day and stated using these lanes with reckless abandon. I say, paraphrasing the famous words of Admiral David Farragut, the Yankee sea captain who won the Civil War battle of Mobile Bay;
“Damn the Lexus Lanes, full speed ahead.”
Causes John Haslam Supports
I support the Constitution of the United States of America.
I support St. Jude's Hospital.
I believe in GOD.