Bridge Trolls

I was reading this piece today, about a trucker with a creative way of avoiding bridge tolls into Manhattan. $65 worth of bridge toll. These tolls have nothing to do with their original intention, paying for the construction and maintenance of the bridge. This is just bureaucratic opportunism – they have something you want, in this case, access to Manhattan – or, in the Bay Area, the same thing, access to San Francisco – and you are going to pay. Government is its own special interest group, and if there is an opportunity to extort money from the citizenry, it will take it. Sure, there will be some reason given – but that reason always seems to be a gross inflation of the original mission into new areas, such as mass transit in the Bay Area (that goes nowhere), or in this case, constructing office buildings. Why does the Port Authority build office buildings? Because they can extract the money from you and I, and then funnel it to the employees and politically favored contractors – who turn some of it around into the pockets of the politicians who control the purse strings.

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