Keyword: spending

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  • Americans Spend More Than Expected as Holiday Season Heats Up

    12/14/2017 4:41:19 PM PST · by Sub-Driver · 11 replies
    Americans Spend More Than Expected as Holiday Season Heats Up November retail sales up 0.8% from prior month; economists saw 0.3% increase By Sharon Nunn Updated Dec. 14, 2017 1:40 p.m. ET 27 COMMENTS WASHINGTON—Americans are spending more this holiday season than analysts expected, fueled by income gains, confidence in the economic outlook, buoyant financial markets and modest inflation. That includes spending at brick-and-mortar stores such as Walmart Inc. and Nordstrom Inc., which clocked the largest year-over-year November sales increase in seven years. Home-furnishing stores, electronics and appliance stores also posted strong spending numbers, despite competition from online shopping websites,...
  • Experts see few reasons to proceed with Interstate 81 tunnel option

    12/11/2017 4:43:18 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 31 replies
    The Syracuse Post-Standard ^ | December 8, 2017 | Mark Weiner
    A $2 million study on replacing part of Interstate 81 in Syracuse with a tunnel supports what national transportation experts say they have known for years: Tunnels usually are a bad idea.While an I-81 tunnel would be technically feasible, it would be difficult to justify the cost of up to $4.5 billion at a time when few publicly-financed tunnel projects are moving forward, according to four transportation policy experts interviewed by syracuse.com.The few highway tunnel projects approved in recent years have been expensive mega projects, often plagued by delays and cost overruns that have drawn public criticism, the experts said.New York...
  • Wear: Explaining TxDOT’s sudden retreat on toll roads

    12/04/2017 7:11:42 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 27 replies
    The Austin American-Statesman ^ | November 26, 2017 | Ben Wear
    People forgot the asterisk. Or maybe they never noticed it in the first place. The consequences of that oversight took full form about a week ago, and the result is that the prospects for several major highway projects in Central Texas and the state’s other urban centers are now uncertain. Back during the 2013 legislative session, when Texas Department of Transportation officials and their lawmaker allies began pushing for more money through a constitutional amendment, they said that TxDOT needed an extra $5 billion a year to fight traffic congestion. Just give us that much money and all will be...
  • U.S. 183, I-35 projects waver after Abbott, Patrick trash tolls

    12/04/2017 1:13:32 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    The Austin American-Statesman ^ | November 20, 2017 | Ben Wear
    Several key Central Texas highway projects — including expansions of U.S. 183 in North Austin, U.S. 290 in Southwest Austin and Interstate 35 through the heart of the area — are once again in limbo after Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick last week staked out firm anti-toll positions. “Right now there’s a billion dollars worth of projects on hold, between 183 and Oak Hill,” said Mike Heiligenstein, executive director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. The I-35 project, estimated to cost $8 billion to add toll lanes and other improvements from Round Rock to Buda, was...
  • Texans driven mad as tolls burn holes in their wallets

    12/04/2017 12:19:08 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 70 replies
    The Texas Tribune ^ | November 17, 2017 | Alex Samuels
    Angela Dean spends at least $200 a month to cover after-school care for her 5-year-old son. Getting back and forth to work — and making sure she picks him up in time — costs another $200 just in tolls.“If I didn't take toll roads, my commute would be an hour-and-a-half or more depending on traffic,” Dean said. “I get off work at 5:30 p.m. and I have to pick my son up by 6:30 or pay crazy late fees. When I take the toll roads, I get there with about 15 minutes to spare.”The North Texas suburbanite uses the President...
  • Gilcrease Expressway extension update: How much will drivers pay for toll?

    12/03/2017 8:08:34 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 10 replies
    The Tulsa World ^ | November 13, 2017 | Kevin Canfield
    State officials have yet to find a private partner to help finance the construction of the final five miles of the Gilcrease Expressway, but they are closer to figuring out how much motorists will have to pay to use it. Tim Gatz, executive director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, said Monday that the toll is expected to be about $1 to $1.50 for private vehicles, with a higher rate for commercial vehicles. Motorists who use the plate-pay system, as can be used in Jenks, likely would pay more. “We are waiting on the traffic and revenue study to come back...
  • The toll of driving

    11/29/2017 1:04:21 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 9 replies
    The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette ^ | November 12, 2017 | Karen Francisco
    Take Interstate 65 south across the Ohio River and you might not notice you've just spent $4. No toll booth stands between the Indiana border and Louisville. Motorists who frequently travel the route likely have a transponder device, with the cost charged automatically to their account. For those without a transponder, a camera captures a license plate photo and the tolling system operator, with access to motor vehicle records, sends a bill to the vehicle's registered owner. As technological advances make highway and bridge tolling easier and more efficient, technology also is delivering more fuel-efficient cars and trucks. The gasoline-tax...
  • More construction, fewer toll collectors in tollway's 2018 budget draft

    11/29/2017 5:56:23 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    The Chicago Daily Herald ^ | November 13, 2017 | Marni Pyke
    Is that toll collector in the booth an endangered species? Not quite with 387 collectors working for the Illinois tollway in 2018, but the numbers are dwindling as the agency moves toward an automated system. Through attrition, toll collector jobs will drop by 32 next year, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of the 55 eliminated positions agencywide, according to the proposed budget recently released. Other budget highlights include an estimated $60 million spike in revenues and a $269.7 million increase in capital spending from 2017. Overall the operations and maintenance budget, which includes salaries and equipment, will rise by...
  • Turnpike moves ahead with final design of Mon-Fayette Expressway

    11/28/2017 1:04:23 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ | November 7, 2017 | Ed Blazina
    The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission authorized nearly $34 million in final design contracts Tuesday for an eight-mile stretch of the Mon-Fayette Expressway from Jefferson Hills to Duquesne. If final design goes as expected, construction could begin in 2022 for the first of three remaining segments needed to finish the last 14 miles of the highway from Jefferson Hills to the Parkway East in Monroeville at a projected cost of $2.1 billion. That’s more than the $1.68 billion cost of the first 60 miles of the highway, started more than 40 years ago in northern West Virginia. The commission’s action Tuesday increased...
  • Is fiscal conservatism dead?

    11/27/2017 7:23:49 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 73 replies
    CBS "News" ^ | November 27, 2017 | By KATHRYN WATSON
    "The priority is spending," the energetic and newly minted congressman, sporting an American flag pin on his dark suit jacket, told the C-SPAN host, soon adding, "the size of the government is really what it comes down to." The year was 2010, and the congressman-elect was Mick Mulvaney, then a 43-year-old restaurateur and developer who rode the tea party wave during President Obama's first term to defeat 14-term incumbent Democrat John Spratt and be the first Republican to represent South Carolina's 5th Congressional District since 1883. Fast forward to 2017. The national debt has surpassed $20 trillion. The country's budget...
  • Here’s how infrastructure propels development forward for Arizona

    11/22/2017 8:03:35 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    AZ Big Media ^ | October 31, 2017 | David McGlothlin
    This year, America’s overall infrastructure was awarded a D+ grade, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ “Infrastructure Report Card.” Arizona’s infrastructure may be relatively newer by comparison but it is starting to show signs of wear and tear as indicated by the C grade that it received from ASEC. While the state of Arizona’s infrastructure may not be in as dire of shape as other urban areas, the need for new and repaired infrastructure is widely talked about, especially at Valley Partnership. For 30 years now, Valley Partnership has been the rational voice at the table whenever important...
  • Non-defense agencies spend $1.5 billion of your tax dollars on military-style guns and ammo

    11/17/2017 8:34:37 AM PST · by sloop3 · 11 replies
    An IRS Special Agent gets to carry an AR15 in certain circumstances. Another agency, Health & Human Services, trains special agents on heavy military-style weapon platforms by the same vendors that train our Special Forces warriors.
  • FOX 11 Investigates uncovers roadblock to Brown Co. traffic relief plan

    11/17/2017 4:12:34 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 9 replies
    FOX 11 News ^ | November 16, 2017 | Mark Leland, FOX 11 Investigates
    BROWN COUNTY (WLUK) -- If you experience stop-and-go traffic heading to work or backups on your way home, you’re not the only one frustrated. Every community experiences traffic delays. Transportation planners design new roads to ease the congestion. But FOX 11 Investigates found that in Brown County, those planning the roads are frustrated too. Ads by ZINC Highway 172 in Brown County carries a heavy load of cars and trucks. During peak traffic hours, motorists are trying to cross the Fox River. A little over two miles to the south, the Claude Allouez Bridge in De Pere can be even...
  • Money for Arkansas River Bridge Is Fort Smith's Missing Link

    11/16/2017 4:54:55 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies
    Arkansas Business ^ | November 13, 2017 | Marty Cook
    One of Arkansas’ top priorities is finishing Interstate 49 in the western part of the state. A key component of that massive project, which is also massively expensive, is a 13.7-mile stretch near Fort Smith that includes a bridge over the Arkansas River to connect Interstate 40 with Interstate 49, which would then run from south Fort Smith to northwest Arkansas and up through the midsection of the nation. The project’s completion would connect with a 6.5-mile stretch of Interstate 549 that opened in 2015 and hooks up U.S. 71 with Highway 22 in south Fort Smith. The proposed 13.7-mile...
  • Hogan’s idea to widen Washington-area highways to add toll lanes has hit barriers before

    11/15/2017 10:34:02 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 10 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | October 21, 2017 | Katherine Shaver
    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposal to add toll lanes to three of the most congested highways in the Washington suburbs reaches beyond similar proposals that stalled over the years after being deemed too expensive or disruptive to adjacent communities. Hogan’s $9 billion plan would add four toll lanes each to Maryland’s portion of the Capital Beltway (I-495) and to I-270 from the Beltway to Frederick. It would also widen the Baltimore-Washington Parkway by four toll lanes. The project would be built using a public-private partnership in what Hogan (R) has said would be the largest such deal for highways in...
  • Transportation secretary wants to keep politics out of Virginia road funding

    11/15/2017 10:09:33 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 5 replies
    The Richmond Times-Dispatch ^ | October 18, 2017 | Michael Martz
    Virginia elected officials thought they had taken politics out of highway funding when they adopted a new way of scoring and ranking transportation projects three years ago. But maybe not in this election year. With three statewide offices and the House of Delegates up for grabs in three weeks, a regional spat over highway funding caught fire Monday, as Secretary of Transportation Aubrey L. Layne Jr. took aim at Republican political leaders in Southwest Virginia who have accused Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, of doing too little to fund critical road projects in their region. Layne told the House Appropriations...
  • Tax Cuts Can't 'Pay For Themselves'? No Place To Cut Government? This Man Says 'Hogwash!'

    11/14/2017 8:54:08 AM PST · by sloop3 · 16 replies
    Politicians on all sides insist that we can’t have those big “beautiful” tax cuts originally promised by Donald Trump because the cuts have to “pay for themselves.” What they’re really saying is that tax cuts can't be large enough to curtail the government spending. Tax cut opponents like to create the impression that Big Government’s current spending is so critical to our national welfare, it’s simply not feasible for cuts to be made—anywhere. Really? Free Market Central spoke to Adam Andrzejewski, Founder and CEO of OpenTheBooks.com, the non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission for the last six years has been to...
  • U.S. budget deficit up sharply in October

    11/13/2017 1:55:55 PM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 11 replies
    CBS News ^ | November 13, 2017
    WASHINGTON - The federal government began its new budget year with an October deficit of $63.2 billion, up sharply from a year ago. The Treasury Department reported Monday that the October deficit was 37.9 percent higher than the $45.8 billion deficit recorded in October 2016. Both government receipts and spending were up for the month, with receipts climbing 14.3 percent to $235.3 billion, a record for the month of October. The larger spending figure was up a sizable 11.6 percent to $298.6 billion. The deficit for the 2017 budget year, which ended on Sept. 30, totaled $666 billion, up 13.7...
  • Is the political war on rural Md. dead?

    11/10/2017 11:09:21 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 31 replies
    The Hagerstown Herald-Mail ^ | June 4, 2017 | J.F. MEILS Capital News Service
    ANNAPOLIS — In 2009, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley closed the visitor center at the Sideling Hill cut, the symbolic gateway to Western Maryland, as a cost-saving effort. Some saw the move as personal, or at least confirmation of how the former governor felt about the state’s rural counties. “We had only two visitor centers that were closed in the entire state under O’Malley,” said William Valentine, an Allegany County commissioner. “It wasn’t too hard to figure out what happened.” Current Gov. Larry Hogan reopened the Sideling Hill Visitor Center in 2015. Earlier this year when Hogan took the stage...
  • Interstate 73 is a shovel-ready project. But who will pay $2.4 billion to move the dirt?

    11/04/2017 11:07:40 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    Myrtle Beach Onlin ^ | October 13, 2017 | Audrey Hudson
    Construction of Interstate 73 to Myrtle Beach has widespread support among key players in Washington, D.C., and is favored for financing when President Trump introduces an infrastructure package to Congress, according to U.S. Rep. Tom Rice. “The president has said he wants an infrastructure package, and we want to make sure that we are on the radar at the front of the line,” Rice told The Sun News in an interview this week. Rice says he’s held numerous meetings to help secure the $2.4 billion needed with top Trump administration officials, including D.J. Gribbin, special assistant to the president for...