Monday, December 27, 2010

3M In Collusion With Your Government...naah can't be...but what's this?

3M gave $580,269 to State and Federal politicians!
...but oh what a return on investment!

The following from: Citizens Against Government Waste CAGW

All Signs Point to a Waste of Tax Dollarsby: Lauren Hartman

A strange unfunded mandate from the federal government is slated to cost taxpayers millions of dollars over the next few years.  A new regulation by the Department of Transportation dictates that all street signs must be in a mix of upper and lower case font, and must meet new higher reflectivity standards.  Local governments must pay for the replacements themselves.  Each sign typically costs more than $100, so high-density areas face huge costs.  For example in New York City, the cost is projected to reach $27.5 million.  It will cost smaller cities, like Milwaukee, approximately $2 million.
Even Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood believes this policy is a waste.  He stated on December 1, 2010  that “this regulation makes no sense,” and “it does not properly take into account the high costs that local government would have to bear.  States, cities, and towns should not be required to spend money that they don’t have to replace perfectly good traffic signs.”  Secretary LaHood has directed the Federal Highway Administration to open up a 45-day period of public comment and opinion on the regulation, the first step in potentially changing this onerous mandate.
Even more galling, one of the studies that helped justify the policy change was funded by 3M, the company that manufactures the reflective material with which the signs are manufactured.  However, despite this apparent overt cronyism, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) continues to protest that the policy change is all about safety.  “If you can’t read it, you can’t see it or you can’t comprehend it, it could be a distraction to you,” said FHA administrator Victor Mendez in an ABC article on November 29, 2010.  “You could be in an accident, negative consequences could occur.”  Of course, safety is important, but unnecessary and costly regulations are not a good strategy, especially in this time of economic troubles when local governments are already struggling to pay their bills.
The federal government is clearly missing the sign of the times.  Their unfunded mandates are putting an unnecessary burden on taxpayers and local governments. 

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