Thursday July 30, 2009
“Never waste a good crisis.”
Ever heard that statement before?
It seem like the the mantra has gone well beyond “porkula” bill pass as a “stimulus” bill in Washington and has silently slithered into the streets of main street America. In Virginia, this mantra has gone all the way to the governor’s office. The issue, storm water run off. The topic sounds about as fun as watching paint dry. Plus, we all want good clean water. What can be so bad with increasing the regulation on the big evil capitalist developers? We all want to preserve the Chesapeake Bay. Save the blue crab! Save the Oysters! Why is the proposal so bad? There are 2 main reasons: The cost vs. benefit and the governor of Virginia plans on dealing with this proposal as a slight change in regulation and forgo the legislative process. As developers are currently developing land, there are erosion control currently in place that adequately control the land form extensive negative impact. The proposed legislation would add substantially to the cost of development. With the fees attributed to the program and the additional cost to be borne by the developer, the cost of housing and development will go up. This small detail of cost is not addressed anywhere in the proposal. The only issue of cost addressed is the ability to fund the program through the fees levied against the project.The Virgina Department of Planning and Budgeting states in it’s report: “the cost likely exceed the benefits for one or more proposed changes” “uncertainties exist over the long term cost and effectiveness of many storm water control practices”;”the total cost to the state of implementing additional storm water control practices to meet the proposed regulatory changes could not be estimate at this time” “Virginia residents will also likely pay for the higher costs associated with local storm water requirements” I re-iterate my opening line, “never waste a good crisis.” In this economic down turn, can we afford to turn business to other states more willing to be affordable? Michigan? Indiana? Ohio? Just to put the picture into perspective, the portrait of affordable housing will look more like a one bedroom condo than the free standing home of the American dream. You can say this is rhetoric, you can say this is posturing. Look at the facts, not the sales pitch. Part 2: The governor of Virginia plans on dealing with this proposal as a slight change in regulation and forgo the legislative process . Doesn’t sound like the great country I remember.The Analysis and the logic don’t work. The benefit does not out weigh the incredible additional cost, nor does the benefit significantly increase. Theoretically speaking, the benefit would be like standing in line at the DMV and having the whole line of service people go to lunch when your number is called, while the disastrous financial impact would be like sending a crop duster airplane into battle In riding the “Green” wave the we are about to throw out the balance of reason. Don’t take my word for it. Do your own research, make your mind up and drink the kool-aid. The results will be evident.