With specious claims of fiscal conservatism, many Republicans spat on President Obama’s signature plan of using infrastructure spending to jump-start job creation by building high-speed rail throughout the country. These same governors have had no problem handing money and no bid government contracts to themselves and their buddies for their pet entitlement projects, unveiling their claims of fiscal conservatism as nothing more than the bitter pill of hypocritical hubris. So, certain parts of the country will progress into high-speed rail, finally coming of age with Europe, saving commuters gas and time, creating a demand for jobs and also beefing up manufacturing, while others will be left in the dinosaur age.
Governor Rick Scott (CEO/owner of a corporation convicted of 14 fraud convictions of the federal government) turned down the 2.4 billion awarded to Florida under Governor Charlie Crist. Scott cited Palin-esque “death panel” claims of being worried about government subsidies (the Frank Lutz “government will control us!” fear-mongering that worked so well in 2009), which is odd since he has been operating off of government subsidies that his previous corporation illegally defrauded the government of for quite a long time. Perhaps Scott only supports subsidies that go into his own pocket because he is busy as Florida’s governor creating new laws that will benefit his Solantic chain of urgent cares, while denying subsidies for infrastructure and jobs. How charmingly Republican of him.
Florida’s transportation department predicted that the rail line would be profitable, so Scott’s reason for turning the money down remains dubious and appears to be nothing but ObamaCares blues.
Other Republican governors to turn down progress were Wisconsin’s Scott Walker who turned down $810 million to build a Madison-to-Milwaukee high-speed line and Ohio’s John Kasich who rejected $400 million for a project to connect Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus with slower-moving trains.
Amtrak and rail projects in 15 states are being awarded the $2 billion that Florida’s Felony Scott thumbed his nose at. The largest piece of the pie will upgrade train speeds from 135 mph to 160 mph in the Northeast corridor, 400 million will go to expand high-speed rail service in the Midwest, including an upgraded track that will save commuters from Detroit to Chicago 30 minutes. California will get 300 million for trains that will travel up to 220 mph between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Walker of Wisconsin rejected the money for the high-speed rail, and later at the end of March, he asked instead for $150 million to add trains for an existing Milwaukee-to-Chicago line, claiming that high speed rail was a waste of taxpayer money (he ought to know about wasting taxpayer money). Walker’s way would have gotten the trains up to 110 mph, because nothing says Republican like poor infrastructure and Dinosaurs-walk-among-us odes to technology phobias.
Of course, this money would have come from the same stimulus money Walker rejected in what has come to be seen as the Tea Party’s attempt to kick sand in the President’s face even when it hurts their states to do so. Ah, the grand petulance of it all! This is country first almost as much as John McCain telling us he would tell he knew how to get Bin Laden and would tell us if we elected him.
Walker, who is not known for his finesse or negotiating skills, didn’t think the feds would begrudge him his new request because it would help other states as well. He was, however, wrong. I’m sure you’re shocked. It seems the federal government isn’t interested in wasting millions to upgrade rail by a few miles per hour when it was seeking to actually bring us into the age of high-speed rail along with other civilized countries.
Scott Walker received $60,000 in illegal campaign donations from William Gardner, president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co., who plead guilty to two felony counts. Gardner’s railroad company relies upon millions of dollars in grants and loans from the state and Walker met twice with Gardner during his campaign, the last time just two days before Gardner turned himself in for campaign fraud. This wasn’t Gardner’s first illegal campaign donation to Walker.
Wisconsin will be left in the dark age and lose out on thousands of jobs, and many will buy Walker’s rather transparent attempt to sell this as some sort of great fiscal moment of arm wrestling the president. The Tea Party likes nothing more than to feel like the bully on the playground, after all. But once again, being a bully didn’t pay off. No worries – Walker will tell the Tea Party how this is the Democrats’ fault and they will believe him, because after all, many of these folks also believe that humans walked with dinosaurs.
Change has come to parts of America, and it’s looking good. More jobs and better infrastructure – hey, that’s a better way to spend federal money than helping Walker line the Koch brothers pockets or helping Rick Scott line his own pockets. At least this money is going back to our country, whereas when the Teapublicans “spend” taxpayer money, it goes right to a corporation, which then often does not pay taxes — meaning that these corporations are taking our tax dollars and not giving back to our country one bit.
Sadly for some states, many of the Teapublican Governors are using their churlish Obama jealousy as an excuse to hand entitlements to corporations and themselves and the Tea Partiers are letting their chains be yanked all the way back to the Dark Ages.