Two (maybe) unrelated items?
At the top of page 1A of this morning’s paper we get an admission of something opponents of the Red Line BRT have been saying for some time. The federal money needed for this part of the boondoggle is nowhere in sight.
With all the hype we’ve had for some years now, one might be excused for thinking by this time we’d have shovels in the air waiting for someone to say "Dig!"
But, not to worry. We’ll go ahead spending money on "administration preparations" and we’ve been assured by Congressman Carson’s office that they will be "...looking for alternative means of securing federal funds."
We were expecting to get $75 million from the feds, out of a proposed budget request for $525 million - for 30 BRT programs nationwide. Equal shares would be about $17 million. What about the "needs" of the other 29 cities?
Or is this just another case of getting something started while knowing that a perpetual dollar flow will be needed? Something to add to the $20 trillion federal debt?
The second part of the "twofer" is at the bottom of page 1C, asking us to buy tickets to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the presence of the Pacers.
Here is a private business operation, with an annual lease of $1 for a $180 million facility provided by the taxpayers and, pleading poverty, receiving an additional annual gift of $16 million from the same taxpayers.
Is there anywhere in the city’s history where 50 years of business failure has been so rewarded? After this seemingly endless period of involuntary philanthropy by taxpayers, isn’t it time to shut the whole thing down?
How many buses - and drivers - could that annual $16 million add to the needed improvement and expansion of current IndyGo service?
Why is that question not being asked by those who claim to be "watchdogs" of public finances? Looks like front page stuff to us!!