DOYLE TO TAXPAYERS: SCREW YOU
Revealing on so many levels. The arrogance. the overreach. The invisibility of Tom Barrett. But this is, after all, Doyle being Doyle, leaving office unbowed, with middle finger fully extended to the taxpayers of the state. And on election day no less.
Just days before an election that could decide the fate of a planned high-speed rail line, state and federal administrators quietly signed a deal to commit the state to spending all $810 million of the federal stimulus cash allocated to the Milwaukee-to-Madison route, transportation officials confirmed Monday.
The unannounced weekend agreement frees outgoing Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's administration to sign contracts for much if not all of the work. That could hamstring efforts by Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans to kill the project and spend the money on something else if they take control of the governor's office and either or both chambers of the state Legislature and Congress on Tuesday.
Walker, the GOP candidate for governor, blasted the deal, saying, "This is just raw political power at its worst. This is why the Doyle administration is corrupt and unwilling to listen to taxpayers."
WASHINGTON -- Somehow, it's become fashionable to think that high-speed trains connecting major cities will help "save the planet." They won't. They're a perfect example of wasteful spending masquerading as a respectable social cause. They would further burden already overburdened governments and drain dollars from worthier programs -- schools, defense, research.
Let's suppose that the Obama administration gets its wish to build high-speed rail systems in 13 urban corridors. The administration has already committed $10.5 billion, and that's just a token down payment. California wants about $19 billion for an 800-mile track from Anaheim to San Francisco. Constructing all 13 corridors could easily approach $200 billion. Most (or all) of that would have to come from government at some level. What would we get for this huge investment?
Not much. Here's what we wouldn't get: any meaningful reduction in traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, air travel, oil consumption or imports. Nada, zip.