Friday Column

I’m taking today off.

Hopefully the good people of Dublin are reading the piece from Martha Zoller I posted yesterday.

I’ll see y’all back on Monday unless news intervenes or I find myself unexpectedly available and bored.  Or something.

OPEN THREAD:

17 comments

  1. bgsmallz says:

    I’m staring to think Maria Saporta has an pro-Marta agenda and that bias slips into her reporting on Marta.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2012/10/19/new-marta-gm-keith-parker-promises.html

    “The transit agency must overcome an aging infrastructure, declining revenues, a negative image and little to no annual operating support from the state and from the region outside of the three jurisdictions that passed the MARTA Act in 1971”

    http://saportareport.com/blog/2012/10/state-rep-mike-jacobs-acts-inappropriately-during-martas-search-for-new-general-manager/

    So she’s changed her tune from ‘virtually no financial support’ in her article from a week ago to ‘little to no annual operating support’ this week? Interesting change of words considering her personal crusade against Mike Jacobs and MARTOC expressing an opinion on the choice of the GM.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      “I’m staring to think Maria Saporta has an pro-Marta agenda and that bias slips into her reporting on Marta.”

      Stating the obvious, are we? You’re saying that after all these years of her long and storied writing career that you’re just NOW starting to think that Ms. Saporta has a pro-MARTA agenda?

      Saying that you’re just now starting to think that Ms. Saporta has a pro-MARTA agenda is like saying that you’re just now just starting to think that water is wet, the sky is blue or grass is green.

      You can’t really fault Ms. Saporta for being pro-(what’s left of a quickly declining) MARTA as bare bones substandard and inadequate transit service (MARTA) is really all that homegrown transit advocates and supporters in this town know as those both for and against transit and most people in-between actually think that the current “nearing-the-end-of-the-line” state of MARTA is the true definition of rail-anchored mass transit (it’s not).

      It’s actually kind of amusing to see Intown interests on both sides of the ideological spectrum fight over political control of a transit system that has basically declined into a imminently-doomed large, hot, streaming pile of mismanaged (and neglected) crap.

      Fighting over who should be the new GM of MARTA is the equivalent of fighting over who should be the Captain of the Hindenberg or the GM of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant.

    • Scott65 says:

      lol…you are just figuring this out? The funding (which is less than 1% of the budget) that goes to capitol expenses is only spent to qualify for federal funding…converting buses to natural gas and the like.
      As far as Mike Jacobs…its a mess of his own creation IMO. There are times you speak, and there are times you keep your mouth shut (at least to the press). He would do well to learn the difference.

      • Scott65 says:

        +1…
        and I’m guessing we could add +3 more at least (and why not the e-mail notify of response since we are going for it)

    • Scott65 says:

      Yes, the IP policies, claims of cyber security threats, and use of this act in the past 2 administrations have been horrible…mostly under Obama

  2. saltycracker says:

    Corporate America smartly continues to move forward to address a mess made worse by low interest and volatile, unpredictable markets….defined pension programs. Government agencies continue to expand these programs based on expectations of high returns and expanding numbers.
    These programs far exceed the ones the corporate world says are unsustainable.

    You just cant put enough money in to fund public workers retiring in their 50’s with full benefits. Taxpayers guarantee these ponzi programs.

    http://m.yahoo.com/w/legobpengine/news/analysis-u-companies-aim-pension-risk-lump-sum-120126217–sector.html?orig_host_hdr=news.yahoo.com&.intl=US&.lang=en-US

    • Dave Bearse says:

      I agree many government pension programs are unsustainable.

      “Government agencies continue to expand these programs….”

      How about a few Georgia examples? State employees pension program benefits have overall clearly been reduced over the past 20+ years.

        • saltycracker says:

          The assumptions used in the math call for some bold steps of optimism for the future and trust that the politicians will not tap into them.

          The assumed rate of return on the plans in Georgia are between 7.5% and (in many counties and agencies) 8% with the payouts guaranteed by the taxpayers.

          Add in the occasional “incentives” or special calculations for early out, COL’s plus double dipping the fund and it gets trickier. Private corporations are ending guaranteed programs and moving to fully funded 401k’s. Why guarantee the unknown in today’s world ?

          The gorilla doubles its weight with the larger unfunded health care.

          If Georgia has a plan that can make taxpayer guaranteed 7.5 to 8% over time after paying their administrators just cut me in – I’d like the taxpayers to guarantee my money too – how about issuing some bonds on that ? I’ll buy and they might even make more for the employees !

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