(Just a little appetizer before the entree... the Congress <which includes dickhead cheney and our lovely supreme court> got their pay raises today... did you get yours?) There was a lovely article in the Washington Post this morning, about the Indiana toll road. This is a ~135+ mile stretch of INTERSTATE HIGHWAY 80/90 (read - federal highway) across northern Indiana, from the Ohio state line into Chicago IL. I already have issues with states charging tolls to drive on interstate highway, but now, IN has decided that they cannot maintain it, so they have chosen to lease it to two foreign private companies. Ok, I just don't think it's my fault that they continue to mismanage tax dollars earmarked for maintenance. But now they want to lease it out to foreign interests (at what will admittedly be higher toll rates)? If a private company takes ownership of a stretch of highway, doesn't that make it private property? Do state police and local police have any authority on private property? Will I get a rebate on federal, state, and local fuel taxes I spend while driving on that stretch? Does the state of Indiana even have the authority to lease public/federal highways to any private interest, let alone a foreign interest? This seems to be a trend. Chicago has leased some of its shoreline roads to private companies, and the Dulles Greenway in Virginia is leased to private management. Anyone care to wager on how long it will take before Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey follow suit on their respective turnpikes? My understanding is that the tolls are supposed to take up the slack where other tax dollars fall short, in the maintenance of these roads - not a cash-cow to line the coffers so that politicians can remodel their summer cottages and buy a new yacht. When the Dulles Toll Road was built, part of the legal agreement (by which they used eminent domain to steal property from citizens) was that, when the bonds were paid in full, the toll would be lifted. That never happened, and now Virginia wants to privatize that one, too. And yes, all these toll roads do affect me, personally. I drive frequently to New York City (partly on the NJ turnpike), and to Chicago and Detroit (on the PA, OH, and IN turnpikes). I just do not enjoy having the taxes double- and triple- dipped out of my pockets.