Not too long ago the Texas Department of Transportation said it didn’t have enough money to build roads. Plum out of cash. But now comes word from Dallas that TxDOT is spending $20 million to build a 5-acre park. That’s better be one heck of park. And, by the way, the federal government is making them do it.

According to, this park will have it all: a restaurant, a kids play ground, a dog run. Heck it’s even going to have trees and grass. All that for $20 million. Oh, it won’t have any roads, but it’ll be near some roads.

The news story quotes TxDOT critic Sal Costello as saying, “I’m all for parks, but why is money from our transportation budget paying for a park? … And why would TxDOT give $20 million to a foundation full of special interests instead of the city to do the job?”

When Congress gives Texas some of our gas tax money back, they tell the state how to spend it. In this case, the feds require a certain percentage be spent on various beauitification projects. Along comes the Legislature looking to fund a new park and — poof — magic funding appears.

From your wallet, through your gas tank, and into a set of monkey bars!

The local group developing the park (with your road money) says they expect the park to become a “regional attraction.” Um, ok.

Like holding a mirror to an unconscious person to ensure they are breathing, maybe the only way we know for certain bureaucracies exist is by how much money they are wasting.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


A Barn Burner Week For Texas Conservatives

Grassroots candidates are closing with positive messages while the moderates continue with numerous last minute attacks. The Texas GOP is also meeting this week to make some big decisions.