Runaway Trains

The Left still resents Governor Scott Walker declining to swallow the bait of $800 million in (borrowed) federal money for a “high-speed” rail line between Milwaukee and Madison.  So it’s worth watching developments where high-speed rail is still a happenin’ thing.

Two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) told lawmakers the state’s high-speed rail authority grossly underestimates the cost of a planned 500-mile line between Anaheim and San Francisco. Officially $43 billion, the LAO says the line will really cost at least $67 billion, and more if there are cost overruns.

Not to worry. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is sending $300 million in rail money Florida turned down.  That’ll fix it.   

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has stopped work on a high-speed project, citing violations of environmental rules.  Another Wall Street Journal item strongly suggests there’s more to it than that.

Devotees of high-speed rail tout China’s growing network as an example the U.S. should follow, but the Journal reports that “concerns over debt levels, train safety and graft have shone a new spotlight on its development in recent months.”

Liberals who dislike Americans driving cars see rail as yet another magic energy solution. But in China, concerns about energy efficiency are prompting authorities to slow down their high-speed trains as of July, the Journal reports.

Oh, and tickets to ride the high-speed trains are said to be prohibitively expensive for most Chinese.

Even before he took office, we said Walker’s decision to turn down “stimulus” money for high-speed rail had liberals sounding like drug pushers angry because someone had the good sense to spurn their offer of free heroin.  The more we learn, the more that sounds right.

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The Club for Growth is a national network of over 40,000 men and women, from all walks of life, who believe that prosperity and opportunity come through economic freedom. Wisconsin Club for Growth, Inc. is dedicated to informing, educating and rallying citizens of Wisconsin to embrace and enact policies that lead to sustained economic growth, limited government, and minimal taxation. Wisconsin Club for Growth can and will have an enormous impact on the direction of our state. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes that effective lobbying is done at all stages of the budget cycle, including when our leaders make public promises and can be encouraged to support policies that spur economic growth. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes we must support pro-growth policies and encourage public officials with backbones to remain truly committed to making our economy and our state stronger. Wisconsin Club for Growth believes our leaders must stand up to the tax and spend mentality in Madison and work tirelessly to cut taxes and unleash the power of the free-market.

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