Dear Editor, Let me clear up a few inaccuracies in your recent column about toll roads [“Page Two,” Feb. 24]. You say, "Texans want more roads. They just don't want to pay for them." Texans already pay enough federal and state gas taxes for good roads. The problem began 25 years ago when the Reagan administration began diverting increasing amounts of our gas tax dollars into nonroad programs. After 25 years of losing 15% of our road funding annually, there are some congestion problems, especially in fast growing areas like Austin. The public laws which created the federal and state gas taxes promised that all such monies collected would be put into a trust fund, to be used only for road construction and maintenance. If Democrats and Republicans can't be trusted with our gas taxes, why would anyone be so foolish as to permit them to collect tolls? You say, "Politicians who defend toll roads are attacked as selling out the people and being corrupt." Duh! With nearly 100% of the people opposed to tolling, 100% of all of the Democrats and Republicans in the state House voted for tolls. (Most of them sheepishly admit that they never read HB 3588 before voting for it.) Does the Chron now support a reformulation of democracy wherein a couple hundred professional politicians should rule against the wishes of the millions of proles who pay their salaries? Our “public servants” have become our slave masters.
Vincent J. May Elgin
[Editor's response: Kind of surprising to read "Does the Chron now support a reformulation of democracy wherein a couple hundred professional politicians should rule against the wishes of the millions of proles who pay their salaries?" because it would seem that is something like exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they made this country a Constitutional Republic and not a Democracy.]