Because no budget is ever big enough, the Des Moines Register editorial staff is advocating for increased spending for bike trails. Put simply...it's friggin' Iowa. Step outside and take a look around...what do you see? Snow? Is it cold? Damn cold? How many months could they be used anyway? Iowa already has bike trails and for its' size, I would say Iowa has plenty.
However the Register thinks otherwise. But hey, last time I checked the Register had a little bicycling event called RAGBRAI, so their stance doesn't exactly surprise me. In fact, RAGBRAI is one of the reasons I am so against further tax payer bike trails. People from all over the nation come to ride on RAGBRAI and the Iowa tourism department would be kidding itself if it believes people are going to come to Iowa multiple times outside of RAGBRAI just to ride a damn bike and look at the cows.
This state ranks an embarrassing 48th in the country for recreational spending and 49th in percentage of land set aside for public use.I don't know about you, but when I read that Iowa ranks "49th in percentage of land set aside for public use" it brings a smile to my face. So most of the land in Iowa is privately owned? And this is a bad thing? Well it is if you work for the Register, but for those of us actually living in the real world it's a good thing.
Missouri, for example, dedicates a small portion of sales tax to conservation and raised $168 million in fiscal year 2004. The proposal includes results of a survey that found 77 percent of Iowans support dedicating additional dollars to "protect Iowa's land, water and wildlife."
The advisory committee estimates it will take "an additional sustainable total of $150 million per year" to meet the needs of Iowa's natural resources.
And comparing Iowa to Missouri. Earth to the Register: Iowa is a farming state. Period. We have no mountains, few real lakes, or other natural wonders for that matter. We have fertile soil that makes for great farm land. If this is unacceptable to the Register staff may I suggest a one-way bus pass to a more majestic state.
First Gov. Culver proposes increasing the state's budget by 9% and now the Register thinks we should bleed even more tax dollars for more bike trails. It's your money people...this kind of wasteful spending should piss you off...