High speed rail folly – Wisconsin edition

The federal government is using $8B in “stimulus” money to promote the folly of high speed rail transportation. (previous post here) As anyone with even a shred of common sense knows, this is yet another monumental waste of your money – something the government specializes in. This piece (from the American Thinker) highlights the latest version of this assholery in Wisconsin.

Mr. Obama’s Transportation Secretary flew into Milwaukee this week to twist the stimulus spigot and pour $46.7 million tax payer dollars (from a total of $810M allocated) into the leaky bucket labeled “High Speed Rail.” Despite widespread opposition to the Obamarail scheme, the Journal Sentinel reported that Ray LaHood proclaimed “high-speed rail is coming to Wisconsin,” adding that “there is no stopping it.”

The new high speed rail line will connect Milwaukee to the state capital in Madison. For those unfamiliar with the Dairy State, the city of Milwaukee is in the south-east corner of the state just north of Wisconsin’s unsecured southern border with Illinois and the city of Madison is 77 miles to the left (not as far left as San Francisco, but they’re working on it).

When the line opens in 2013, passengers will rocket down the rails at the break-neck speed of 79 mph, eventually reaching the inconceivable velocity of 110 mph by 2015. At present it is unclear whether the DOT and HHS are planning a passenger screening protocol for health risk assessment to protect our most vulnerable citizens from the tremendous level of physical stress caused by such high velocity transport. The new Obamarail line will undoubtedly shave valuable minutes off the 77 mile journey.

All that for a 77 mile stretch that will likely lose money in operating costs – a la Amtrack. And it has the added “benefit” of being impervious to future attempts to kill it. In other words, “you’re getting this whether you want it or not.”

The projected cost of the high speed rail line is $810 million dollars, however Mr. LaHood left the door open to further tax payer participation through future federal subsidies once the line is in operation. Not surprisingly the Obamarail scheme is enthusiastically supported by Governor “Diamond Jim” Doyle and his fellow democrats while drawing opposition from leading republicans and an overwhelming number of Wisconsin’s tax payers.

Secretary LaHood said that the high speed rail line is a federal program designed to survive any changes in political leadership. In other words, if the voters of Wisconsin express their outrage at the ballot box this November it will have no effect on the project, as LaHood has said “there’s no stopping it.” The governor reinforced LaHood’s assertion by adding.

If a future governor abandons the project, the money would go to the other states’ rail lines, not Wisconsin roads and bridges, and the state would have to repay the money it has already received from the federal government, said Doyle, a Democrat.

Once again, the snakes in the Democratic Party have forced an unpopular and costly new project down the throats of their constituents and have compounded their crime by taking steps to prevent an easy remedy at the polls this November.

This “stimulus” money only primes the pump and leaves the states to pick up the rest for these wasteful projects.

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2 Responses to “High speed rail folly – Wisconsin edition”

  1. Although name-calling will only decrease the probability of persuading anyone, I enjoyed your blog very much (“…health risk assessment to protect… from the tremendous level of physical stress caused by such high velocity transport”. Great!)

    I don’t understand why high-speed rail advocates don’t just take the bus if they can’t stand driving themselves. Further, the train will compete with bus companies, and if it is substantially better, will force them out-of-business. So much for being pro-job creation, eh?!

    • The biggest problem with this whole high speed rail thing is that the federal government is only providing seed money. The states that take it will be strapped with the remaining costs and operating expenses. The perfect example can be provided with a single word – Amtrack. If it weren’t for government subsidies, Amtrack would have gone belly-up years ago.

      This is not about creating jobs – government can only create government jobs. If it really wants job creation, the government should get the hell out of the way and let business take care of business.

      On the name-calling thing, I call them as I see them. I’m not concerned about persuading anyone – just informing them with some sarcastic commentary.

      Thanks for the comment!

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