Two years ago, when Governor Cooper took office the Department of Transportation (DOT) was rolling in cash – $2 billion in cash.
The Governor promptly decided he ought to spend the money as fast as possible – because having less cash on hand meant DOT would be able to borrow another $300 million (using Build NC bonds) and spend it too.
Democrats excel at spending money and cash flew out the door and the Department borrowed the $300 million – then DOT got a shock: It found it had overspent. It was in a ditch. With red ink piling up.
DOT said, We’ll lay off workers and stop road repairs. Then DOT added, By the way, none of this is our fault. We got hit with unexpected bills like the Map Act lawsuit. The department’s allies in the legislature launched a bill to give DOT another $660 million – immediately.
The Map Act is the lawsuit DOT lost because it had taken people’s private property without compensating them.
The pitch supporting DOT sounded good but, when you scratched the surface, it didn’t hold water. Because DOT had lost the Map Act lawsuit three years ago – so it had known about those liabilities before it went on its spending spree.
Spend and spend then borrow and spend more and then, when you land in a ditch, come up with an excuse and say, Don’t blame us. Just give us another $660 million to spend.
And, of course, if the legislature says, Okay. Here’s $660 million. No problem – DOT is likely to just keep on spending like there’s no tomorrow and history will repeat itself.
That’s how government works.
And another reason to drain the Raleigh Swamp.