Snow-blind: What Washington's winter storm says about broken politics

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    Feb 10, 2010 2:14 PM GMT
    "You're sitting at home for the third straight day, unable to get to work because of the snow. Your kids are on the fourth day of a snow vacation that is likely to last through the end of the week. How much would you have been willing to pay to guarantee that the streets and sidewalks were clear and things could have run pretty much as normal? $10? $25? $50?

    Or imagine that you own a business with 50 employees that is closed for three days because of the snow, but you still have to pay $30,000 in salaries for work they didn't do. What would you have been willing to pay to have things running normally this week? $1,000? $2,500? $5,000?

    My guess is that, given the benefit of hindsight and several days of house arrest, "snow insurance" sounds tempting.

    Now imagine that the mayor of the District and the governors of Maryland and Virginia got together and declared that in our interdependent 21st-century regional economy, there is no reason less than a foot of snow should be allowed to disrupt work and school, and no reason anything more than a foot shouldn't be cleaned up within 36 hours. To pay for the extra manpower and equipment, the politicians proposed raising taxes and fees by an average of $25 per household each year, and $2,500 for the average business.

    Although the politicians' offer would be the effective equivalent of "snow insurance," I can assure you that the reaction to it would be quite different. ... "

    Keep reading. It's an interesting thesis ...
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    Feb 10, 2010 3:00 PM GMT
    This is an historic winter for the mid-Atlantic.
    Prolly won't see something like this again in our lifetimes.
    Of course, not to waste a good crisis, some f'ing jackass wants to use it as an excuse to raise taxes.
    The city would be shut down on a day like today even if we blew the whole budget in 24 hours. There will be power outages (WTOP says power crews have gone in 'cause they can't work in blizzard conditions), road closures from drifting snow, and people will just call in sick if their workplaces try to conduct "business as usual" in conditions like these.