Right about rail

It’s impolite to say we told you so, but in today’s political environment it seems constantly necessary.

So next time someone says Governor Walker was unintelligent to reject federal money for high-speed rail, clue them in about how wrong they are.

There’s proof in last Tuesday’s San Jose Mercury News

We’ll summarize:

California is planning a high-speed rail project that differs from the rejected Milwaukee-Madison line chiefly in that it would traverse a total of about 800 miles. Three years ago California voters authorized $9 billion in bonding for the project and the federal government has ponied up about $3 billion of your money to help out.

One small problem: Overall costs are estimated at $43 billion and the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office says there’s no certainty where the bulk of it will come from.

This is especially troublesome in light of anticipated massive cost overruns. Even though nobody has yet turned a shovel, estimates are ballooning north of $60 billion and heading higher.

It’s especially revealing that the California High Speed Rail Authority acknowledges higher cost figures, because it just recently figured out how many bridges it will need to build—years after producing the cost estimates it used to sell the project.

If this sounds hauntingly familiar—like the city of Milwaukee feigning surprise over multimillion-dollar expenses for digging up and relocating electric transmission lines to accommodate Mayor Tom Barrett’s streetcar project—it’s because that’s the way these things invariably turn out.

Walker smelled boondoggle and made the right call. But for some people, spending big money on big projects directed by big government is an objective in itself. Whether the projects are useful or perform as advertised is irrelevant; for Liberals, they’re almost a biological imperative.


About Wisconsin Club for Growth
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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