December 9, 2010

"The nearly $1.2 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail projects that newly elected governors in Ohio and Wisconsin rejected..."

"... has been redirected to other states, with New York receiving up to $7.3 million of the amount. The money was redistributed to states in proportion to their initial high-speed rail awards...."

Wisconsin and Ohio... such important swing states in the upcoming 2012 elections.

Did it not occur to them to not spend the money? Why the insatiable urge to spend? My mother used to say, "That money is burning a hole in your pocket." But that can't be what's going on here, because they don't have any money.

174 comments:

kent said...

Did it not occur to them to not spend the money?

Surely that wasn't a serious question, was it...?

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse's mother speaking like our federal govt:

"Here is $100 Ann. I want you to go outside and throw it down a sewer. And if you don't, I'll give it to your sister to throw away".

traditionalguy said...

Au contraire. The Fed has a printing press that the Chinese haven't repossessed yet. They call it the High Speed Train of Presses.

Coketown said...

"Did it ever occur to them to not spend the money?"

LOL! LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!

James said...

How much was it supposed to cost Wisconsin again if Walker refused the stimulus funding?

LOL...Obama backed down simply because he knows he needs to win Wisconsin if he has any chance of re-election. No sense in pissing off voters here when he'll need them in 2 years time.

Meade said...

"Here is $100 Ann. I want you to go outside and throw it down a sewer. And if you don't, I'll give it to your sister to throw away".

Wise-for-her-age Althouse to govt. mother: "Okay, let sister have it. She can spend her entire life maintaining her high-priced high-speed sewer. I shall live free through my blog."

Original Mike said...

But it's not really dead yet, right garage?

kent said...

"... but... but... trains! High speed! Future-y! VROOOOOOOMMMM -- !!!"
/libtard

garage mahal said...

What would you expect from electing a college dropout to governor who left wreckage everywhere he's been.

Big Mike said...

Every once in a while the Federal government reminds me of a 16 year girl with her own credit card, and no notion that sooner or later the bills come due.

Synova said...

I notice garage mentions this in the other thread and suggests that people will be upset that the money went somewhere else.

I think it's likely that people will be upset.

I think there is no basis to conclude that they will be upset with their governors for turning down the federal funds, however. (BTW, were these funds loans or attached to future never-ending obligations that the state would be responsible for paying?) It's more likely that voters in Wisconsin and Ohio will be even more angry at the federal government than before. Here they do something fiscally responsible and they get spit on for it.

The Drill SGT said...

what I found amazing was that when they say NY got $7.3 million more of $1,2000 million that WI and OH passed on, it tells me the original grants were total BS.

Tell me you are spending 10 billion on a serious project for serious high speed rail from say Boston to NYC and i'll believe that is a worth while demonstration. giving Florida a billion is flat out pissing money away.

Larry J said...

Big Mike said...
Every once in a while the Federal government reminds me of a 16 year girl with her own credit card, and no notion that sooner or later the bills come due.


It's an insult to 16 year old girls everywhere (at least everywhere outside of Hollywood) to compare their spending habits to the government's.

Did it not occur to them to not spend the money?

But how would they buy votes if they don't spend a lot of money?

c3 said...

Well according to the multiplier effect, for every dollar the government spend it creates another dollar in the private sector....

did I say "another dollar", shoot I meant to say "100 dollars"......

no wait I meant $1,000 dollars

honest

(unless of course its given to the rich, then its a complete bust)

former law student said...

Thanks, Wisconsin. You don't need no stinkin' federal government handouts. When I'm whizzing between Borden and Fresno I'll be thinking of you.

kent said...

[...] wreckage everywhere he's been.

"Wreckage," in this instance = "Selfishly refuses to bankroll my lifelong Thomas the Tank Engine fetish. Bastard!"

Original Mike said...

"Thanks, Wisconsin. You don't need no stinkin' federal government handouts. When I'm whizzing between Borden and Fresno I'll be thinking of you."

You're welcome, FLS. When I'm whizzing in my bathroom tonight, I'll be thinking of you.

exhelodrvr1 said...

This seems like a very pragmatic way to buy votes.

ContraMan said...

Damn Wisconsin. If the Badgers make it to the Rose Bowl I swear I'l boo them for sixty minutes. How dare you high and mighty fools refuse those high speed rail funds! Ingrates!

As a California taxpayer, I am outraged by this. Coincidentally, it was announced last week that our bankrupt state is proceeding with a high speed rail project. Since the intital section of the proposed rail line is a railway from a nowhere town to another nowhere town in California's Central Valley, I can only conclude it wasn't the enormous volume of rail traffic that drove this idiocy but, more likely, the extra funds the Feds got back from Wisconsin and Ohio. Now, I, as a California taxpayer, will be required to fund the non-Fed funded portions of this boondoggle for politicians, developers and greenies. Thanks a lot, Wisconsin.

Oh yes, The Dells and that damn dog suck too!

edutcher said...

In Philadelphia, it's known as street money.

Meade said...

"Here is $100 Ann. I want you to go outside and throw it down a sewer. And if you don't, I'll give it to your sister to throw away".

Wise-for-her-age Althouse to govt. mother: "Okay, let sister have it. She can spend her entire life maintaining her high-priced high-speed sewer. I shall live free through my blog."


.. and live for love.

PS Of course, it didn't occur to them to not spend the money. It never occurs to them.

This is why the Lefties should be driven from anything vaguely resembling power.

garage mahal said...

PS Of course, it didn't occur to them to not spend the money. It never occurs to them.

He's keeping the other 3/4 of the stimulus money sent to Wisconsin. Shouldn't he have sent it all back? Why would he keep so much of it I wonder. Well, I know why.

former law student said...

If people need to get from Milwaukee to Madison at 90 mph, I have an idea: Let Wisconsin designate the inside lane of I-90 as a high speed carpool lane, and designate pickup points in both Madison and Milwaukee. Anyone carrying another person in their car will be entitled to drive 90 mph between the two cities. Problem solved.

Coketown said...

FLS: But we'll make an exception for hybrids! Then it'll be like CA and WA and every other dumbass state that made carpool lanes that are congested with single-occupant Priuses going 55 MPH!

Why not just raise the speed limit to 90 for everybody?

Sofa King said...

So, basically the lefties are condemning Walker - or is Wisconsin voters - for not accepting transparent bribery. Okaaay...it sort of reveals their strategy for winning elections, doesn't it?

Jay said...

Why the insatiable urge to spend?

Because they care you see.

Oh, and its for your own good too.

Sofa King said...

Let Wisconsin designate the inside lane of I-90 as a high speed carpool lane

Do you mean I-94, perhaps?

Sofa King said...

And why would anybody need to get from Milwaukee to Madison at 90MPH, anyways? Is this a commonplace scenario in your world, where a 90-minute trip instead of a 60-minute trip is the difference between utopia and catastrophe?

And how would this train have even addressed this hypothetical scenario, given that it topped out at around 75 MPH?

MadisonMan said...

That's how you create jobs. By refusing money.

Bye Talgo! Nice to know you.

Pogo said...

FDR was a master at using federal money to reward friends and punish enemies in the states, leading to widely disparate spending in terrible economic times. Oftentimes the very poor lost out to those in already-wealthy (but FDR-friendly)states.

Yet despite all that spending, no new jobs were created, not back in the 30s.

And not now.

Wisconsin lost nothing in refusing the printing press money. The nation has lost, however, because no one will take the play Monopoly money we're making, or it'll be worth just a third or a quarter what it is now.

Even now, commodity inflation is here, taking a bigger chunk of the grocery bill every week..

Hekuva job, Barry. Now we are all poorer. And the US is more corrupt.

AlphaLiberal said...

No, Ann, that is not what is going on here. You have not been following this at all, have you?

All you do is repeat conservative talking points, without stopping to think or understand. You are consumed by your hatred of liberals.

Wisconsin state government has lost a grant for $823 million and will only receive $2 million.

As a result of this action, Wisconsin is on the hook for well over $100 million in costs.

What is going on here is the "Oppose Anything Obama does" mentality. If Obama is for it, Republicans are against it. (Obama's tax capitulation notwithstanding).

Synova said...

"He's keeping the other 3/4 of the stimulus money sent to Wisconsin. Shouldn't he have sent it all back? Why would he keep so much of it I wonder. Well, I know why."

This argument reminds me of the argument against birth control that goes... preventing pregnancy is wrong so all birth control is wrong, every bit as wrong as abortion. (The Catholics are more sophisticated... I still don't agree with them but I'm not talking about the Catholic argument here. I heard this one from an independent Baptist.) Logically, I figured, if it's wrong to do anything that keeps conception from happening then certainly the only moral thing is for every fertile person to have reproductive sex from the earliest moment of fertility, no matter what.

This is what garage's argument sounds like to me.

Because the state returns or refuses some federal funds it *must* refuse all federal funds. Logic? If this is logic, then accepting federal funds ought not to be limited. On what basis does one accept only what is offered? Why these limited funds? If the feds provide any funding at all why not provide it all?

Why not?

The answer if that the initial argument was flawed. There is no logical problem whatsoever with refusing some funds without refusing them all.

D.D. Driver said...

When did the figure become $1.2 Billion?

The figure that has always been used is $800 Million.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/82864412.html

Shenanigans all around.

former law student said...

And how would this train have even addressed this hypothetical scenario, given that it topped out at around 75 MPH?

Not according to Wisconsin's Department of Transportation:

Plans & Projects > Mode > Rail > High-speed rail >
Wisconsin high-speed intercity passenger rail - Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

* What does high-speed service mean - how fast will the trains go?
* Where will the stations be located?
* When will service start?
* What schedule will be offered - how many trips per day?
* How much will a ticket cost?

What does high-speed service mean - how fast will the trains go?

Initial service on the Milwaukee to Madison route will provide speeds up to 79 miles per hour. Once all of the track and signal upgrades are completed to allow high-speed trains to safely operate, speeds will reach up to 110 miles per hour.

garage mahal said...

Bye Talgo! Nice to know you.

Velo Bahn plans off, Restaurant Magnus space for lease

By Velo Bahn. Nice to know you.

AlphaLiberal said...

And as far as the operating costs, the US DOT, City of Madison and other local governments had offered to help offset that.

It's a deeply stupid decision by a jackass of a Governor-elect.

AlphaLiberal said...

Yes, also, the CEO of Talgo said last week when he was in state they would probably close the new train assembly plant.

All because conservatives hate trains, hate Obama, hate, hate, hate.

former law student said...

When did the figure become $1.2 Billion?

Wisconsin + Ohio

AlphaLiberal said...

D D Driver:

When did the figure become $1.2 Billion?

The figure that has always been used is $800 Million.


The other $400 million is the Ohio grant that Kasich forfeited.

WALKER AND KASICH FAIL.

Sofa King said...

No, it isn't. It only appears to be a stupid decision because you can't or won't accept that some people - not yourself, obviously - make decisions out of principles beyond sheer venality. *Even if* we accept the argument that this would be slightly beneficial, on net, for Wisconsin (which I don't accept; how many federal programs can you name that cost as much or less than projected? - but assuming for the sake of argument) - it still wouldn't provide a benefit commensurate with the cost to the rest of the nation, and ought to be opposed out of simple patriotic duty. A foreign concept to liberals like yourself, I know, but real enough to the average American.

AlphaLiberal said...

And why would anybody need to get from Milwaukee to Madison at 90MPH, anyways?

To save time, perhaps. Have you heard? Time is money.

Also, it is part of a regional rail network.

Eisenhower spent over a hundred billion on the federal interstate highway system. A massive subsidy for private autos. Was that a bad move, too?

Meanwhile, US reliance on foreign oil continues to climb.

AJ Lynch said...

"And why would anybody need to get from Milwaukee to Madison at 90MPH, anyways? Is this a commonplace scenario in your world, where a 90-minute trip instead of a 60-minute trip is the difference between utopia and catastrophe?"

I remember, in 1971, racing a buddy in his GTO for 90 miles from Philly to Wildwood to get one of the scarce parking spaces for the weekend. Somehow I beat him in my 1959 Ford Fairlane by a few blocks and a minute or so. And we wondered [big whoop] what will we do now with the 15 minutes or so we saved by racing and breaking the speed limits.

garage mahal said...

Wisconsin state government has lost a grant for $823 million and will only receive $2 million.

So you're saying $823 million is more than $2 million, and probably a better deal for Wisconsin?

Walker's Crazy Train Math

A friend sends this along about Scott Walker's train-killing blunder:

"Wisconsin taxpayers pay approximately 1.8% of all federal taxes collected.

National high-speed network is estimated to cost $8 billion.

1.8% x $8 billion = $140 million: this is the share to be paid by Wisconsin taxpayers.

$810 million granted to Wisconsin for rail is 5.7 times $140 million."

Look at how much better we were with the $810 million.

D.D. Driver said...

"As a result of this action, Wisconsin is on the hook for well over $100 million in costs."

Bullshit!

Let's see the contracts. As a point of reference, every federal contract has a termination for convenience clause, which let's the government off the hook except for expenses incurred by the contractor.

Even if not, damages for breach of contract on not "the face value" of the contract amount. Let's get real.

Sofa King said...

To save time, perhaps. Have you heard? Time is money.

Then this train ought to be self-financing. What is the interest of the average American in subsidizing the transportation of someone for whom 30 minutes is of such critical importance? Why can't that person pay for it?

AlphaLiberal said...

Sopfa King makes shit up:

it still wouldn't provide a benefit commensurate with the cost to the rest of the nation, and ought to be opposed out of simple patriotic duty.

If you don't value reduced traffic congestion, reduced air pollution, reduced oil consumption, local economic development, increased safety, improvements to freight rail shipping, increased mobility choices for travellers, yeah, you have a point.

the gas tax covers about 60% of the cost of roads and we subsidize the rest.

Air travel is subsidized, as well.

This opposition is nuts. It's all politics -- stick it to Obama. Principles have nothing to do with it.

Walker owns his FAIL.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

When I'm whizzing between Borden and Fresno I'll be thinking of you.


Well I would hope that you would use the restroom provided for you on the short train ride instead of whizzing off of the train.

Have some decency.

Sofa King said...

Eisenhower spent over a hundred billion on the federal interstate highway system. A massive subsidy for private autos. Was that a bad move, too?

No, because an overwhelming majority of Americans would rather drive than take a train, a test that automobiles won rather decisively in the first half of the 20th Century.

Big Mike said...

Thanks, Wisconsin. You don't need no stinkin' federal government handouts. When I'm whizzing between Borden and Fresno I'll be thinking of you.

You mean whizzing as in a coarse synonym for micturition?

AlphaLiberal said...

Sofa King:

Then this train ought to be self-financing.

Really? Like autos which depreciate the moment you drive off the dealer lot?

Or like highways that we subsidize?

how about the massive and bloody subsidy for oil? All the costs for military intervention and wars to keep the oil flowing? Conservatives ignore that - they have no principles (unless it earns interest).

I address the social benefits.

MadisonMan said...

And we wondered [big whoop] what will we do now with the 15 minutes or so we saved by racing and breaking the speed limits.

Well, if you take the train from Madison to Chicago -- and the spur to Madison was an extension of a very popular Milwaukee to Chicago route -- you don't have to pay for parking, which in Chicago can be kinda onerous. So not only do you have some extra time (maybe -- not sure how the drive time/train time Madison to Chicago compare, I suspect it depends on the time of day), but you have extra cash in pocket as well. You've spent it on a train ticket, true. But you've avoided the cost of your car and those wretched tolls on I90 in Illinois.

AlphaLiberal said...

I hear California is going to name one of their trains the "Walker Express." That's fitting gratitude.

No, because an overwhelming majority of Americans would rather drive than take a train, a test that automobiles won rather decisively in the first half of the 20th Century.

Really? So now you're claiming the massive subsidies to auto transport, like Eisenhower's highways, had no impact in the competition?

Sofa King said...

If you don't value reduced traffic congestion, reduced air pollution, reduced oil consumption, local economic development, increased safety, improvements to freight rail shipping, increased mobility choices for travellers, yeah, you have a point.

All of those things have some marginal value, but I have seen no persuasive argument that an 80-mile train line from Milwaukee to Madison will actually produce any significant amount of those things.

For perspective: this project would cost more, adjusted for inflation than the HOOVER DAM. Do you really believe it will be of as much benefit to the citizens of the United States as the HOOVER DAM? I don't, and I don't believe most people do either.

D.D. Driver said...

"Meanwhile, US reliance on foreign oil continues to climb."

The "best case scenario" is that this train hauls around 1200 passengers a day.

Please explain how this will may any dent whatsoever in dependence on foreign oil.

...the left continues to wage the War on Math.

For the same amount of money, the government can buy 16,000 luxury Telsa all-electric sedans, and just give them away by lottery. It would benefit more people and would actually make a difference.

Sofa King said...

Well, if you take the train from Madison to Chicago -- and the spur to Madison was an extension of a very popular Milwaukee to Chicago route -- you don't have to pay for parking, which in Chicago can be kinda onerous. So not only do you have some extra time (maybe -- not sure how the drive time/train time Madison to Chicago compare, I suspect it depends on the time of day), but you have extra cash in pocket as well.

So the citizens of the United States get to subsidize the ability of a few Madisonians to not have to pay for parking?

Serious question: why not just directly reimburse those same people for their parking expenses? It would cost a fraction of the price.

Another serious question: isn't the EXACT SAME benefit already provided by the existing bus service?

Synova said...

And now Alpha is doing it...

The government subsidizes other sorts of transportation therefore... it must subsidize all transportation?

What other sorts of transportation is the federal government failing to subsidize? Government must subsidize ALL transportation, no matter how little used, how inefficient, or how pricey and no matter if other methods of transportation are available.

BJK said...

Eisenhower spent over a hundred billion on the federal interstate highway system. A massive subsidy for private autos. Was that a bad move, too?

The Federal Highway system incentivized the ownership and use of the automobile (which were, at the time, largely produced in the United States, by U.S. Workers and for U.S. Corporations).

The driving motivation behind "high-speed" rail is to reduce the number of cars on those highways.

To the extent that the two examples of federal spending are similar, their externalities are pointing in opposite directions.

James said...

As a result of this action, Wisconsin is on the hook for well over $100 million in costs.

Why do you keep repeating that outright lie.

The federal government broke the contract so Wisconsin isn't on the hook for anything. In other words, Walker dared Obama and La Hood to enforce the terms of the contract Doyle signed and they backed down.

Sofa King said...

Really? So now you're claiming the massive subsidies to auto transport, like Eisenhower's highways, had no impact in the competition?

Yes, I am. Rail ridership was fast declining long before the interstate highways were built. The interstates were subsidized because people liked to drive, not the other way around.

kent said...

Shorter Alpha: "What do you mean, 'why's it got to be built?' It's a bypass! You've GOT to build BYPASSES!"

AlphaLiberal said...

Synova, if people say "let the market forces take over" and then they support subsidizing one form over another, then it is a very unlevel playing field.

That is NOT letting the market decide things. It is saying we must only have autos and their pollution and traffic congestion.

AlphaLiberal said...

Sofa King now claims that subsidies to one side have no effect on the competition.

That's either dumb or dishonest. Or both, I guess.

Sofa King said...

That is NOT letting the market decide things.

It can be. In fact, we do this all the time. If one market option is clearly preferred without subsidies, and we have already decided we want to provide subsidies, it often makes sense to subsidize the most cost-efficient solution that the market has already come up with. This is the case with the interstate highways, as passenger rail was already losing heavily to the automobile before the interstate was built. You act like the automobile simply popped into existence in 1956.

Sofa King said...

AlphaLiberal claims that all historical events happened simultaneously. I don't even know what that is.

D.D. Driver said...

"That is NOT letting the market decide things. It is saying we must only have autos and their pollution and traffic congestion."

Amtrak isn't already subsidized?

Or do you mean that the "free market" requires the government to fund every single rail project that someone dreams up?

Original Mike said...

Haven't had time to read the whole thread, so maybe somebody's made this point already.

Gov. Doyle issued a statement decrying the loss of HSR. Seems to me, there is nobody more responsible for this result than Doyle himself. The state's finances are in dreadful shape. We are not getting HSR because we can not afford it. And the reason we are in such bad shape is squarely on his shoulders. Yes, we are in a recession, but there are well managed states that are not in bad shape.

D.D. Driver said...

Also, the "free market" requires the government to fund my idea of a chair lift between Milwaukee and Madison and a daily dirigible route, because people might want to ride a chairlift or a blimp and denying those people a blimp-ride on government's dime is contrary to free market principals.

Big Mike said...

If you don't value reduced traffic congestion, reduced air pollution, reduced oil consumption, local economic development, increased safety, improvements to freight rail shipping, increased mobility choices for travellers, yeah, you have a point.

There's a lot traffic congestion between Milwaukee and Madison? And your analysis ignores the time to drive to the train station, check your luggage, board, detrain, pick up luggage, and rent a car (or flag down a taxi,which is an additional out-of-pocket expense).

Reduced air pollution? All high speed rail is powered by electricity, and in the US that electricity is predominantly generated from coal. All you do is move the pollution from the vicinity of the road to the downwind vicinity of the power plant.

Reduce oil consumption? Is it better to use coal instead?

Local economic development for rail, including light rail, is concentrated near the stations. Local economic development for high speed highways is more diffuse. If you want to argue that economic development near the stations is a good thing, then fine. But why not simply invest in those areas directly? Why spend money on carefully-engineered tracks, catenary, power substations, etc.?

And if you think high speed trains are inherently safe, then you need to read up on Eschede. 35% fatalities, 30% severely injured, and 35% minor injuries.

Improved freight rail shipping? Well the Acela in the Northeast Corridor shares tracks with regular freight, but the main premise of high speed rail is that they do not share tracks with slow freight.

@FLS, can you confirm that high speed rail will not share tracks with freight?

And as far as increased mobility choices is concerned, well, you got me there. The good folks of Madison and Milwaukee will have another option to consider. At an annual cost of $7.5M (unless their congressional delegation can persuade Uncle Sugar to pick up most of it).

Jay said...

They're melting down:

"It was just expressing frustration from a very frustrated Member." — Rep.Shelley Berkley (D-NV), [characterizing] the remarks of a fellow Democratic lawmaker who said " Fuck the president " during a Caucus meeting concerning the tax Compromise.


Looks like basketball jones in the white house has no friends...

Jay said...

"Meanwhile, US reliance on foreign oil continues to climb."

So you're for opening up ANWR and the gulf for drilling, right?

Jay said...

And as far as the operating costs, the US DOT, City of Madison and other local governments had offered to help offset that.

More taxpayer funds for a train nobody will ride.

Great!

Profit!

kent said...

a fellow Democratic lawmaker who said " Fuck the president " during a Caucus meeting concerning the tax Compromise.

"This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up."

wv = "untan." HAH!

Jay said...

If you don't value reduced traffic congestion, reduced air pollution, reduced oil consumption, local economic development, increased safety, improvements to freight rail shipping, increased mobility choices for travellers, yeah, you have a point.

You can't name a city in the untied states that has built a rail line and then subsequently reduced traffic.

You're not that bright and easily misled.

garage mahal said...

We are not getting HSR because we can not afford it.

Baloney. It would cost taxpayers anywhere between $1 or .13 cents per year. Walker has no problem using billions from the stimulus on projects happening all over the state. If he made his decision on principle it would be one thing. It was never ever about the money. He pandered to the lowest common denominator in a cheap anti-city vote getting scheme to get elected. What a douchebag.

madAsHell said...

When I'm whizzing between Borden and Fresno I'll be thinking of you.

You can whiz from Borden to Fresno!!

Damn!! This Obamacare stuff must really work!! Are you allowed to forgo the "exam"?

Although, it's kinda creepy that you're thinking of me.

Jay said...

It would cost taxpayers anywhere between $1 or .13 cents per year.

You are a liar.

You can't point to a single instance where an estimate of a government program has been accurate.

Not one.

You are a gullible dupe.

Maguro said...

Oh lord, another choo-choo thread.

garage mahal said...

Oh just shut the fuck up Jay.

Jay said...

Oh just shut the fuck up Jay.

Nice.

Go on believing in your silly lies.

PS, I love it when liberal hobby horses get gutted. The rage is hysterical to watch.

kent said...

Oh lord, another choo-choo thread.

Just whisper the words "Shining Time Station," and both garage and Alpha immediately excuse themselves for a little "me" time alone in a couple of quiet corners, somewhere.

cubanbob said...

AlphaLiberal said...
No, Ann, that is not what is going on here. You have not been following this at all, have you?

All you do is repeat conservative talking points, without stopping to think or understand. You are consumed by your hatred of liberals.

Wisconsin state government has lost a grant for $823 million and will only receive $2 million.

As a result of this action, Wisconsin is on the hook for well over $100 million in costs.

What is going on here is the "Oppose Anything Obama does" mentality. If Obama is for it, Republicans are against it. (Obama's tax capitulation notwithstanding).

12/9/10 4:38 PM"

Unless the feds are going to pay 100% of the construction costs and pay for the operational loss in perpetuity the new governor already did the people of his state a great service.

Where you come up with your figures I don't know but if you factor in all of the fuel taxes, tolls, car taxes the roads themselves are pretty much covered by their users. Air traffic control can be privatized and most of the subsidized air traffic costs are due to the folly of politicians like the late and unlamented John Murtha who squandered federal funds for airports in very marginal markets. The major hubs more than pay their way.

Robert R. said...

A few thoughts.

A) It's perhaps ironic that the train gets cancelled and the governor declares it a victory on a day when I-94 and I-90 are messes due to weather.

B) If the train getting built was the worst outcome (I don't believe that, but I'll roll with it), the circumstances of the cancellation are the second worst outcome.

With the cancellation, the State of Wisconsin gets stuck with a bill for $71 million for the upgrades to the Hiawatha train maintenance shed and Milwaukee station. We're also potentially stuck with the bill for completing incomplete rail upgrades on State owned track for freight that would have been covered in the plan. So, since the money is going elsewhere, there's no savings to the Wisconsin taxpayer, no infrastructure upgrades (rail or otherwise), and Wisconsinites have to come up with over $12/person to cover the bills.

If that's a victory, it's an expensive one.

Maguro said...

A) It's perhaps ironic that the train gets cancelled and the governor declares it a victory on a day when I-94 and I-90 are messes due to weather.

Irrelevant. A train carrying perhaps 1,000 people a day between Madison and Milwaukee would have zero practical effect on interstate traffic. And many of the train riders would've ridden the bus had the train not been available.

The rest of your post just details the sunk costs of bad project.

former law student said...

Thank you, GOP Cheeseheads! According to the last news I heard, I'll be able to whizz all the way from Merced to Fresno (alternatively from Fresno to Bakersfield).

And Senate Republicans have come out for keeping gay soldiers in the closet. The professor must be torn, today.

Robert R. said...

A thousand or more people on more than a few days a year adds up. But, please, spare me the engineering claims. There's an engineering report out there, but this has never been about engineering. Pro or con. If people wanted to talk engineering, we'd be talking about the actual details of the service plan by HNTB. And that's never been part of the conversation. It's been about campaign ads featuring Scott Walker and sound bytes.


And, we can argue over the definition of a sunk cost. So far, the decision to cancel the project costs Wisconsin taxpayers more than if they had gone ahead and built it. And that's unfortunate for Wisconsin taxpayers.

The real issue with the project was the operating costs. And for someone who likes to talk about public/private partnerships, Walker fell down on exploring funding sources for that. The Madison business community was pretty gung ho in favor, along with the City of Madison and Dane County, and funding for operating was never really discussed.

former law student said...

Maguro, frankly Wisconsin doesn't deserve nice things.

Jay said...

So far, the decision to cancel the project costs Wisconsin taxpayers more than if they had gone ahead and built it.

This is an out & out fabrication.

kent said...

frankly Wisconsin doesn't deserve nice things.

"So there! NYAAAHHHHH!!!" [::stamps foot::]

James said...

And, we can argue over the definition of a sunk cost. So far, the decision to cancel the project costs Wisconsin taxpayers more than if they had gone ahead and built it. And that's unfortunate for Wisconsin taxpayers.

Prove it.

Big Mike said...

If that's a victory, it's an expensive one.

But still less expensive in the out years than the alternative. That Governor Doyle must think that there are money trees somewhere.

Maguro said...

Maguro, frankly Wisconsin doesn't deserve nice things.

That depends on your definition of "nice things".

Spending $800M to duplicate Greyhound bus service with a train and then operate it at a loss in perpetuity doesn't sound so nice, but maybe that's just me.

Penny said...

Penny perspective...

The kid's in Ohio and Wisconsin know their parents don't have much to go around, so when the tooth fairy left them a couple of bucks, their eyes got wide! Their imaginations took over, and they had good dreams the next night.

But morning comes. The Ohio kids and the Wisconsin kids appreciate all their parents tried to do to make their lives better, and so they return the money to the tooth fairy, and their parents, in kind.

Moral of this story?

New York kids NEVER lose their teeth.

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Sarah Palin... High Speed Rail... Sarah Palin... High Speed Rail... Sarah Palin... High Speed Rail...

It's Althouse's version of "Tastes Great! Less Filling!", or a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Or a Twix bar. Whatever.

Get an interesting preoccupation already!

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

I propose that Ohio and Wisconsin take the funds to build a bridge to nowhere instead. That'll be sure to fire up the Sarah Palin contingent.

garage mahal said...

You sure showed THEM Walker!

former law student said...

I think my alternative could work. We're all familiar with the concept of the university ride board, right? People going to Milwaukee can post their departure date and time on an internet board, and riders can contact them (or vice versa).

Who wouldn't want to ride with Althouse in her TT at 90+ mph?

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Well I would hope that you would use the restroom provided for you on the short train ride instead of whizzing off of the train.

But the most fun part of the ride will be aiming a nice golden stream onto the heads of the motorists below.

Maguro said...

I think my alternative could work. We're all familiar with the concept of the university ride board, right? People going to Milwaukee can post their departure date and time on an internet board, and riders can contact them (or vice versa).

How about this alternative: Go here and buy yourself a bus ticket for $23.

What's wrong with that?

Original Mike said...

"Maguro, frankly Wisconsin doesn't deserve nice things."

"We are what we are."

Penny said...

"Who wouldn't want to ride with Althouse in her TT at 90+ mph?"

ME!

At THAT speed, the a "tchoo tchoo" train seems a better bet.

Colds and sneezes haven't killed me yet, and frankly, I am arrogant enough to believe I can outlive Crist!

Robert R. said...

For the math challenged. As a federal project, the cost per person for Wisconsin taxpayers was $810 million / 312 million people = $2.6/person.

With the train shed and station upgrades scheduled at $71 million, scheduled, and removed from Federal funding is $71 million / 5.6 million people in Wisconsin = $12.67/person.

Not counting other costs that may still be out there. Does Walker leave the State owned tracks incomplete?

The $810 million wasn't returned to the taxpayers. There is no savings.

The capital costs were never an issue, it was the operating costs. In the short run, Wisconsin taxpayers lose. Walker wasn't able to divert the money to other infrastructure projects in Wisconsin, which I believe was his endgame, and it's a "victory" that costs the taxpayers. We need less of those.

former law student said...

Go here and buy yourself a bus ticket for $23.

Buses aren't safe at high speeds. Even in Germany they're limited to 62 mph.

kent said...

"But I can't possibly be 'broke'! I still have some checks left in my checkbook!"

Modern-day leftism has managed to transmogrify what was once the punchline to an old, old joke into the sum and total of their entire fiscal philosophy, in perfect miniature.

Such an achievement.

garage mahal said...


What's wrong with that?


When are you going to get it through your head this isn't about just a line from Madison to Milwaukee? See here.

Original Mike said...

"For the math challenged. As a federal project, the cost per person for Wisconsin taxpayers was $810 million / 312 million people = $2.6/person."

And thus, trillion dollar deficits are made.

Maguro said...

Buses aren't safe at high speeds. Even in Germany they're limited to 62 mph.

Uh huh. So the purpose of this entire project - $810M or whatever it ends up becoming - is to save a few people 20 minutes on their trip. They get to arrive in Milwaukee at 3:10 instead of 3:30. Whee!

And you feel that is worth the all the expense of this project?

Jay said...

the cost per person for Wisconsin taxpayers was $810 million / 312 million people = $2.6/person.

Um, huh?

Are you suggesting there are 312 million taxpayers in Wisconsin or the United States?

For the math challenged.

Parody.

Jay said...

nd removed from Federal funding is $71 million / 5.6 million people in Wisconsin = $12.67/person.

You are capable of understanding that not all people pay taxes, aren't you?

Therefore a "cost per person" statistic is meaningless.

Are you this stupid or are you pretending?

Big Gov't Trickling Down on You said...

Jay is so stupid that when he walks into a restroom he sits on the urinal and faces forward.

Come on! Garage, etc. Stop standing for this cretin's bullshit.

Penny said...

Math?

Who does math these days?

Well OK, maybe those toothless kids in Ohio and Wisconsin do some short form of math as they decide what's best for their families, but , hey...

If I were the tooth fairy who needs to give you money whenever you lose a tooth, it isn't going to take me too dang long to decide to hang out with those New Yorkers.

They may not be very good at math...

BUT they sure have a million-dollar attitude to go along with their million-dollar smile, and ... it costs ME... nothing!

Robert R. said...

The trip from Madison to Milwaukee was never the engineering point of the project. The trip from Madison to General Mitchell Airport and Chicago was the engineering point. Along with freight upgrades, crossing upgrades, improvements to the Empire Builder service, and potential to tie into Minneapolis on a more frequent than once a day service.

But, again, the debate was never about what the plan actually was. And Barrett and Doyle are as much to blame as anyone else.

Along with the silly idea that transportation projects are jobs programs. The primary, and some would say only, goal of a transportation project is to improve the efficiency of moving goods and people. You start talking about these other benefits before talking about the primary purpose of the project and it's no wonder people think you're selling them snake oil.

Robert R. said...

You're right Jay. As a Wisconsin taxpayer, Walker probably cost me $50.

Which magical fairy is going to pay the $71 million (probably more) that Wisconsin taxpayers are stuck with with the removal of projects from Federal funding? I get no savings from the Federal funding going elsewhere. And there's a $71 million bill to the State of Wisconsin. That money has to come from somewhere, and it wasn't a direct Wisconsin obligation yesterday.

Again, Wisconsin taxpayers need less "victories" like today which add $71 million to the State budget.

former law student said...

And you feel that is worth the all the expense of this project?

Oh hell no. Wisconsin trains ran at 100 mph back in the 1930s. Why spend billions to regress to that era?

former law student said...

As a Wisconsin taxpayer, Walker probably cost me $50.

I'd like to thank the people of Wisconsin for their contribution to California high speed rail.

In future years when you visit Disneyland, please stop by and look at Anaheim Station.

Jay said...

Which magical fairy is going to pay the $71 million (probably more) that Wisconsin taxpayers are stuck with with the removal of projects from Federal funding?

They are not "stuck with" anything.

You can understand the government doesn't have to spend money, right?

That money has to come from somewhere, and it wasn't a direct Wisconsin obligation yesterday.

Ah yes, let's borrow from the US treasury so you can pretend that these "obligations" don't exist.

You understand Wisconsin residents pay federal taxes right?

Jay said...

I'd like to thank the people of Wisconsin for their contribution to California high speed rail.

That is the problem.

You big government people just can't stop yourselves.

The nation has a $13 trillion dollar debt, and liberals want to build a rail line between Anaheim and San Francisco for all 85 people that will ride it each day.

A generation and a half of people have grown up in America with no basic understanding of economics.

MadisonMan said...

Maguro, frankly Wisconsin doesn't deserve nice things.

I rather doubt you can balance the Federal Budget by taking things away from Wisconsin. Maybe if it was a consumer state, like the ones down south.

bagoh20 said...

"You are consumed by your hatred of liberals. "

It's all the rage lately, and I like it.

former law student said...

and liberals want to build a rail line between Anaheim and San Francisco for all 85 people that will ride it each day.

When aviation fuel is reserved to the military you'll thank me.

kent said...

Liberal economic theory, in a nutshell.

Jay said...

When aviation fuel is reserved to the military you'll thank me

Hysterical.

Maybe if it was a consumer state, like the ones down south.

Another knee slapper.

Again, I love when these liberal hobby horses get gutted. The flailing just goes in all directions.

Maguro said...

When aviation fuel is reserved to the military you'll thank me.

But somehow we'll still have enough diesel to run our little Madison-Milwaukee choo-choo.

Right...

MadisonMan said...

Jay, are you suggesting that Wisconsin does not send more $$ to the Federal Government than it receives, or that there are states in the south who do not receive more $$ than they send to the Federal Government?

I'm all for reducing the Federal debt. I've proposed actual things to do that make sense. Gutting maintenance of infrastructure is short-sighted IMO.

Robert R. said...

You understand Wisconsin residents pay federal taxes right?

I do. Do you understand the difference between State and Federal projects?

There's been no reduction in the Federal project. It's just been shifted to another state.

Meanwhile, a scheduled project, the Hiawatha maintenance shed and station upgrades, is still on the schedule. And those projects cost $71 million. Only, instead of being split over all 50 states as a Federal project, the costs will now been borne solely by Wisconsin taxpayers. And it's doubtful that these projects will be stopped. After all, Walker has publically proclaimed that he supports the Hiawatha.

$71 million in obligations have been added to the State of Wisconsin budget as of today. There are potentially more costs, like finishing the state owned freight tracks that were started under the project. That's not a good thing for Wisconsin taxpayers.

If the whole project had been cancelled, reduced, reconfigured, etc. that might have been fine. But, at best, this substitutes a cost of long term operating for a short term hit. Either way, I can do with less hits to the pocketbook.

garage mahal said...

They told me if if I voted for Tom Barrett there would be redistributing the wealth. And they were right!

I just didn't think it would mean my tax dollars to other states.

Maguro said...

Jay, are you suggesting that Wisconsin does not send more $$ to the Federal Government than it receives, or that there are states in the south who do not receive more $$ than they send to the Federal Government?

Collection and distribution of Federal funds is broadly progressive; that is, wealthier states tend to be net contributors and poorer states tend to be net beneficiaries.

I assume that's the way you like it?

Maguro said...

This thread is a great illustration of the fact that people don't really dislike pork barrel projects, they just dislike other people's pork barrel projects.

MadisonMan said...

I assume that's the way you like it?

So you admit that Jay is wrong. Thank you.

Maguro said...

I can't speak for Jay, but I will say I've never understood liberals who bitch about the Feds taking their state's money and giving it to someone else. Isn't that what liberalism is all about? You should be thrilled that they're doing this.

MadisonMan said...

This thread is a great illustration of the fact that people don't really dislike pork barrel projects, they just dislike other people's pork barrel projects.

Well, there was a competition for this money, so presumably -- who knows, really -- the project here was in some ways better than in other states, where the money is going to now. The money is going to spent -- Congress has said so. You can argue that it's unwise, and I won't disagree. But if it's not spent where some maybe pre-ordained competition said it was best to be spent, that seems doubly stupid.

I don't buy the Walker Campaign slogan that this would end up being a huge drain on state taxpayers. Any infrastructure project like this will generate development, and that brings jobs and money -- to some. I'd be more inclined to believe his sincerity if he was against it from day 1 -- meaning when TT was all for it. It seems like things went bad for many Republicans when Doyle came on board as a supporter. And I'll echo what Robert M (?) said -- the problem with Barrett and Doyle is they let Walker drive the debate and frame the project as "just" high speed rail from Madison to Milwaukee. The loss of infrastructure maintenance that was part of the awarded monies will be a big detriment to rail transportation in s. Wisconsin.

former law student said...

I just didn't think it would mean my tax dollars to other states.

I heard this story third-hand so I may have misstated it, but: Apparently the surplus federal tax money Michigan sends to DC each year would have covered the GM bailout.

MadisonMan said...

Why this bizarre assumption that I'm a liberal, by the way?

Methadras said...

garage mahal said...

What would you expect from electing a college dropout to governor who left wreckage everywhere he's been.


No, the real problem is you leftard motherfuckers who insist on dreaming up bullshit ways to spend money needlessly on things that most people do not want. Not because you leftard motherfuckers think they are good, but because you believe it's good for the rest of us who don't want things like that. Even if you believe these things are good, no one can convince you otherwise that they are not. That's the mental deficit that you leftard motherfuckers operate from and in return create monetary deficits to prop up ideas of wish fulfillment. Fuck you, motherfucker and that fucking whore you call your mother for birthing the leftard waste that is you.

Big Mike said...

Why this bizarre assumption that I'm a liberal, by the way?

Because now and again you take fairly extreme positions, and not in the conservative direction. (And, no, I'm not going to prowl through old Althouse blog posts to give you examples. That would be boring. I don't like being bored.)

MadisonMan said...

You may be right, but I don't think I've ever been for big government. Isn't that #1 for a Liberal?

Some extreme things I've said -- one comes to mind -- result from inarticulateness. But you can't unwrite things.

AJ Lynch said...

Garage:
If Robert R.'s math is correct, you gave up only $2.60 so why the crocodiles tears about this day after day after day? Move on!

AJ Lynch said...

MadMan:
Come on, you are certainly a liberal. Not far far left but left enough for sure IMHO.

PatCA said...

Why don't the feds give the money to its rightful owners: the taxpayers!

Just a thought.

MadisonMan said...

I like to think I occupy the left side of center. Maybe I am delusional.

Here are just some of my non-liberal credentials: I would never take a gun from my hunting friends, although as a teen I did wickedly irresponsible things with a .22, but no one was killed, by the grace of God, so perhaps a gun should have been taken away from me. But not from anyone else. I think the Dept Of Education is a crock -- at both Federal and State levels. Abolish them. Ditto Homeland Security.

OTOH, I freely admit to thinking banning abortion -- that is, making it illegal -- is foolish, because making abortion illegal won't ban it. Some will claim that's a liberal viewpoint, I think it's just unhappily realistic. I have no problem with my Gay friends getting hitched. Why should the Govt care? Gays should be able to serve in the military just like anyone else. Maybe that's why people think I'm liberal.

But I'm a cheap SOB so I'd like the Govt to be as well. Like I said the other day, if every Government manager can't run his/her department with 85% of the funds they got this year, they should be replaced with someone who can. Is that liberal?

(not a fan of labels)

Original Mike said...

"Come on [MadisonMan], you are certainly a liberal."

He used to be. I think he has evolved.

Original Mike said...

In fact, given that I agree with everything he just said, I'd say he's reached the pinacle of human perfection.

Much like myself.

Maguro said...

Why this bizarre assumption that I'm a liberal, by the way?

Well, I always thought of you as fairly liberal, though certainly not out in Robert Cook land. Perhaps it's the Madison brand image;-)

Anyway, I've seen the same complaint from a number of soak the rich big-gov types on this blog, so consider the observation directed there if you don't feel it applies to you. They want the Feds to spread the wealth around, but bitch to high heaven if their favorite state ends up being a net contributor.

AJ Lynch said...

Mad Man:

I thought you said the other day you'd keep DHS and the Dept of Ed intact?

And yes, I remember you did recommend every other dept cut to 85%.

kent said...

Why don't the feds give the money to its rightful owners: the taxpayers!

Just a thought.


"Hostage-taker! Terrorist! RAAAAAAAACIIIISSSSSSSSSSST -- !!!"

MadisonMan said...

I thought you said the other day you'd keep DHS and the Dept of Ed intact?

Uh. no. Was it before caffeine? Seriously, those two departments are just parking places for political pals.

Now I'm wondering if I wrote something and forgot to add not or something.

Apologies for the digression. We now return to the fascinating topic of trains :) Well, except I'm going to sleep .

E.M. Davis said...

Mad Man seems like a classic liberal.

Like JFK.

Robert R. said...

"... you gave up only $2.60 so why the crocodiles tears about this day after day after day? "

Because the State economy of Wisconsin stood to gain $144 per person in return.

I'd agree that there is a legitimate debate to be had about Federal and State spending. And I agree that both spend too much. But, I also think that the discussion of Federal spending needs to be held at the Federal level with the pain spread around. Playing the martyr with Federal spending is all well and good, except that the problem is that the martyr gets killed in the end.

And despite what Walker will say publicly, he's got to be disappointed with the endgame. Yes, Walker was for the train being killed, but his #1 goal all along was to divert that $810 million to other infrastructure projects that he felt were a higher priority. He didn't accomplish that and that's a hole in the State economy and budget that's going to make his job tougher no matter how much of a victory he tries to spin it as. Plus the US DOT stuck him with another $71 million in costs.

And he still has to go to the US DOT to ask for funds for the Zoo Interchange, I-90, and the Hoan Bridge after picking a public fight with the Secretary.

former law student said...

to spend money needlessly on things that most people do not want.

Like the war on Iraq? The only reason most people wanted it was that the Bush administration told us a pack of lies.

Sofa King said...

Like the war on Iraq? The only reason most people wanted it was that the Bush administration told us a pack of lies.

Yes, actually, maybe you didn't notice in your drugged-addled haze, but the Republicans were roundly thrashed at the polls in no small part because of this. But see the Democrats misunderstood; they thought the important part of the electoral message of "stop spending so much money on wars" was "on wars," when really it was "stop spending so much money." And now they are getting thrashed too.

I am sorry to inform you that Walker will win this issue, because the majority of Wisconsinites are loyal Americans, and they do not want to see the federal government waste its money on a boondoggle just because they would get a tiny benefit from it. As such, the honorable thing to do is demur, and if residents in other states have no honor - well, I do not doubt their disloyalty will bring them to ignoble ends in due course.

kent said...

Like the war on Iraq? The only reason most people wanted it was that the Bush administration told us a pack of lies.

"... and so that's the reason you lousy jerks all OWE me a multi-billion full-size train set to play with, goddammit!"

Argument By Poutrage, essentially. Interesting choice, that.

hoyden said...

"Meanwhile, US reliance on foreign oil continues to climb."

I think that is a feature, no a bug. The Obama drilling moratorium reduces our domestic oil production and increases Red State unemployment.

A two-fer the price of one policy.

wv: adeplie. The liberal position in a nutshell.

Jay said...

Because the State economy of Wisconsin stood to gain $144 per person in return.

Now that's funny!

Jay said...

Like the war on Iraq? The only reason most people wanted it was that the Bush administration told us a pack of lies.

You can't name a single "lie" President Bush allegedly told.

You do understand that it was the consensus of all Western governments and the UN, prior to Bush even being a candidate for President that Iraq had WMD, right?

Jay said...

Jay, are you suggesting that Wisconsin does not send more $$ to the Federal Government than it receives, or that there are states in the south who do not receive more $$ than they send to the Federal Government?

Yes, yes I am.

Mainly because "states" do not send taxes to the federal government.

And you have no data that could possibly support your silly assertion.

Jay said...

$71 million in obligations have been added to the State of Wisconsin budget as of today.

And I hope it is de-obligated ASAP.

Jay said...

Meanwhile, a scheduled project, the Hiawatha maintenance shed and station upgrades, is still on the schedule. And those projects cost $71 million. Only, instead of being split over all 50 states as a Federal project, the costs will now been borne solely by Wisconsin taxpayers.

Why should someone in Virginia pay for the Hiawatha maintenance shed?

Again, I have to emphasize: 810 million would have been federal money doesn't mean it was magical. You paid for that in your taxes, too.

AllenS said...

former law student said...
Like the war on Iraq? The only reason most people wanted it was that the Bush administration told us a pack of lies.

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
--Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
--Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

If you need more quotes from Democrats with their lies about WMDs in Iraq, let me know, because I have more.

Robert R. said...

Why should someone in Virginia pay for the Hiawatha maintenance shed?

Because it was set to service an interstate route.

It's doubtful either project will be cancelled. Especially the Station upgrades which are for ADA compliance among other things.

Roger J. said...

gotta ask: when did these railroad threads overtake the subject of tits and Sarah Palin to generate so much commentary--

garage mahal said...

Freeway standoff continues into fourth hour

"A standoff on I-94 west of the Marquette Interchange continued into a fourth hour early Friday, altering the morning commute for just about anyone trying to get downtown."

MadisonMan said...

I heard an interesting stat, which I hope the present standoff does not augment.

Anyway, prior to this year, the most number of Wisconsinites killed by police in one year was 7. This year 23 have been.

I wonder why that is.

Michael said...

Garage; Presumably there are alternative routes via other roads. If someone blows up a piece of track on a railroad.... Read Seven Pillars of Wisdom on the efficacy of rail versus terrorism

AllenS said...

MadMan,

And if you can't find anyone to shoot, there's always your TV. I'll bet that the clown holding up traffic didn't vote for McCain. He probably doesn't have a TV.

Big Mike said...

And apparently you still haven't linked over to the high speed rail disaster at Eschede.

YouTube has a 5-part series on the tragedy. Type in "Seconds From Disaster Eschede."

Big Mike said...

("You" meaning garage mahal)

garage mahal said...

BM
Can't watch any videos at the moment.

I'm coming at this as Wisconsin resident. It's hard to put into words just how badly the GOP fucked us in this state. One would hope a recall petition is being drawn up for this criminally stupid decision.

former law student said...

Argument By Poutrage, essentially. Interesting choice, that.

1. To accomplish their goals, conservatives will lie shamelessly.

2. Conservatives strain out gnats and swallow camels: We will have spent two orders of magnitude more on the Iraq war -- including the continuing cost of veteran mental and physical health care and the continued US presence in Iraq -- than on high speed rail.

3. With all of America's crying infrastructure needs: worn out water and gas mains, overtaxed storm and sanitary sewers, 50-80 year old bridges and highways -- spending money to rebuild Iraq is the greatest folly. We used to plan for the future, now we can't even keep up with the past.

And this series of quotes was priceless:

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
--Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998


Hint: They were justifying something big the US and UK accomplished in 1998.

Google "Operation Desert Fox 1998," there's a good lad.

former law student said...

the high speed rail disaster at Eschede.

Bad engineering, manufacturing, and operational judgment. Reminds me of I was working across the street from O'Hare when AA 191 took off. We all ran outside to watch the cloud after that DC-10 hit the ground. Two hundred seventy-one passengers and crew, most dreaming of the beach at Waikiki, were killed, along with two people on the ground. Management allowed maintenance crews to use a shortcut they had devised.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwgSVhgFm7E

NB: the video of the flight, such as it was, was simulated.

Sofa King said...

I'm coming at this as Wisconsin resident. It's hard to put into words just how badly the GOP fucked us in this state. One would hope a recall petition is being drawn up for this criminally stupid decision.

It's hard to put into words because it doesn't make any sense. "Beggar thy neighbor" is poor public policy regardless of whether you are the neighbor or not.

Fen said...

Desert Fox: "Clinton administration officials said the aim of the mission was to "degrade" Iraq's ability to manufacture and use weapons of mass destruction, not to eliminate it."

It took Bush to get it done.

Fen said...

FLS, when DHS installs TSA "get naked or get groped" scanners for trains, do you think people will be more likely or less likely to drive?

Titus said...

I believe trains are great-in the right places. For example on the east coast from Portland to DC=perfect, lots of people use them and they are convenient-and there is a large population and it is a fab area. I use them constantly from Boston-NYC-Providence-DC etc.

Madison-Milwaukee not great-small population and not fab area.

Thank you and good day.

kent said...

there's a good lad.

Deal with the fact that the good citizens of the state of Wisconsin, confronted by your freakish, fetishistic choo-choo bullshit, roundly rejected it. There's a silly little tit.

louskannen said...

A few points re: high speed rail in WI:

Does anyone believe that the proposed system Madison to Milwaukee will cost "only" $810M? Gluck!

Last plan was for the route to go from downtown north to the airport thence east with stops at Watertown and possibly other burgs. The train would have only short stretches to reach high speeds. I suspect one could hop in their car in Madison and beat the train to Milwaukee most days AND save a ton o' money and hassle (parking, rentals, etc.).

Potential development would impact areas in and near stations - as if downtown Madison and the airport could use a bunch more station-bound traffic, likely the same in Milwaukee.

Passenger rail would likely be a money-loser (evidence: See all but one or two systems worldwide). Freight can pay its way, but we already have roadbed and track for that which could use some bucks for upgrades and maintenance. Spending the money on HSR is sexy but ultimately it's not only wasteful but counterproductive in regard to WI economy.

Methadras said...

MadisonMan said...

Anyway, prior to this year, the most number of Wisconsinites killed by police in one year was 7. This year 23 have been.

I wonder why that is.


Clearly, not enough high speed trains and too many Negros angry at 100 year old walmart greeters taking their receipts. That is a sure sign of the coming apocalypse and road rage.