The Train is making people crazy….

Today in the front page of the Wisconin State Journal, Scott Walker Vows to stop the train.

All of this ideology also fails to mention,

Some $800 million in contracts, a series of difficult legal hurdles and a struggling economy will not stop Governor-elect Scott Walker from doing what he promised on the campaign trail — stopping the train.

I understand the need for ideology in spite of common sense to get elected, but at some point we need to get our state and country back on track. As Peter Beinart points out,

The real loser is Keynesianism: The idea that when businesses and individuals stop spending, government must. That idea will not rebound; it’s over for this period in economic history. First Britain, and now the United States, are responding to the worst economic contraction in 75 years by contracting government, despite the fact that the world’s best economists are screaming that it’s exactly the wrong thing to do

He also points out how this ideology is making us fall further and further behind the rest of the world.

Historians may also look back at 2010 as the first post-9/11 election in which fears of China loomed larger than fears of Al Qaeda. Given that China has stimulated its way out of recession and is set to pour even more government money into infrastructure, leaving America further behind, I doubt it will be the last. In his Senate victory speech, Republican megastar Marco Rubio announced that “America is the single greatest nation in all of human history. A place without equal in the history of all mankind” because “almost every other place in the world…what you were going to be when you grow up was determined for you.” Almost every other place in the world? From China to India to Brazil, hundreds of millions of people are rising economically in ways their parents could scarcely have imagined, in part because their governments are investing in infrastructure in the way the United States did in the late nineteenth century. The American dream of upward mobility is alive and well, just not in America. And rather than looking at what those other countries are doing right, the Republicans have taken refuge in an anti-government ideology premised on the lunatic notion that America is the only truly free and successful country in the world.

as the Cap Times did recently:

For Wisconsin “conservatives” opposed to rail (note the quotes), the Eurostar is a stark reminder that this debate isn’t about a train or the growth of government. It’s about economic growth, economic efficiency and the development of urban and rural areas alike.

Rail is cheaper to build, easier to maintain, faster, more energy efficient — and expanding rail’s capacity is as easy as adding more cars or more trains.

They won the election, and as John McCain says “elections have consequences”, lets just hope that we will be able to recover from the consequences that we have wrought upon ourselves this time.


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55 thoughts on “The Train is making people crazy….

  1. “They won the election, and as John McCain says “elections have consequences”, lets just hope that we will be able to recover from the consequences that we have wrought upon ourselves this time.”

    Why in the world did the Democrats go with Obama instead of Clinton? Clinton’s platform was closer to what everyone wanted…

    I really can’t help but (STILL) wonder how much of pushing her aside was sexism.

  2. Not sure where Hillary fits here, but I for one would not of voted for Hillary ande it had nothing to do with her being a woman. It had to do with her perpetual capitulating to George Bush.

    1. Sorry…you quoted McCain…and I went back to the 2008 election. The consequences of electing Obama is now we have the crazy teabaggers and nothing is going to get done for years. I’d like to think it’s because of his ideology (although I’m not convinced). Clinton’s ideology is closer to most Democrats/Independents…which makes me wonder what she could have accomplished had she been elected.

      So…are you saying you would have either sat out voting for President in 2008 or voted for McCain had Clinton been the nominee??

      1. I would of probably voted third party(like I did in Kohls election), unless she made a great case in her campaign. I actually voted for McCain in 2000 but would never again, he has ruined his legacy the last ten years, its kinda sad really.

  3. I walked right by the State Journal newsbox just a few minutes ago and saw that headline. I thought I was embarrassed about Feingold’s loss. Look at THIS guy. I’ll buy this newspaper to read….and then I’ll sacrificially burn it.

  4. Clinton’s ideology is closer to most Democrats/Independents

    “Ideology” being a euphemism for skin color.

  5. are responding to the worst economic contraction in 75 years by contracting government

    Baloney. Where in recent years has there been anything that could even be remotely considered a contraction of government? Seriously, anything? And I’m certainly not talking about just the past 2 years, but going back into Bush years as well.

    You simply refuse to see $800 billion as anything other than free money because it comes from a different pool of taxpayers. “If it’s going to be spent anyway, I WANT MINE.”

    Us conservatives – with or without the quotes – want our tax dollars spent productively, in a manner that will benefit the most people. If this election killed Keynsian “thought” for awhile, I’ll do a happy dance. Read about the Parable of the broken window. Government or any spending for that matter – is not always good no matter what. The problem with paying people to dig and then fill holes is the blind refusal to acknowledge the opportunity costs – that there are better activities to spend it on. Money spent digging up and filling in holes – or only slightly better, building trains only a rich few will ride – is that it reduces funds that could be spent on things we actually use and need. For example, all those bridges that were assessed as needing urgent repair. Though that was how the stimulus was sold, only about 5% of it went to roads & bridges.

    Obama had a thing for trains – requiring a huge chunk of money go only to trains, regardless of their feasibility or practicality was one of many mistakes he made.

    It’s the guy whose needs to replace the family car and leaves dealership with a 2 seat convertible. Too bad only half the family can ever go anywhere – but it’s a really great car.

    Tax dollars are a finite resource that requires a sacrifice from taxpayers. When the government spends without consideration for the cost-benefit – when it cannot differentiate between wants and needs, it is not serving us well.

    1. “the Eurostar is a stark reminder that this debate isn’t about a train or the growth of government. It’s about economic growth, economic efficiency and the development of urban and rural areas alike.”

      I would just like to point out that the Eurostar has been a fisacal disaster losing over 100 million pounds (appx 175 Million dollars) last year. So how is that economic growth?

      1. And the train proposed is nowhere near a Eurostar. It is just a faster train than the standard Amtrak we already have. “Highspeed rail” is the .com of the last few years. Lots of people talking about all the potential, economic growth, puppy dogs, and sunshine. But a closer look reveals not much more than a slightly different version of what we already have.

        I still believe that a rail system in Milwaukee would have been a much more sensible approach and could be economically justified, you know, with realistic ridership projections rather than the ones for the Madison express.

        1. 75 miles is not HIGH SPEED rail. I driver faster that that on the I-system throughout the state. A total waste of money when it could be used to really upgrade our transportations system, i.e. highway system.

          1. Around 30 miles of the highway system cost the same amount, my fellow resident of the Green Bay metropolitan area. ♥

            Not that we’re going to get the money anyway if Scott Walker rejects it.

            1. I am not against rail but if they are going to do HIGH speed rail lets develope it first instead of sticking money into a system that will then have to be upgraded again to meet the actual HIGH speed system. Seems like this is cart before the horse. The only problem is that we are addicted to our cars and the convienece they provide.

              1. I can agree with that honestly, I wish they would make it faster. Perhaps that could be the real negotiation with Scott Walker?

                Actually suggest the High Speed Rail to go faster, streamline the design, don’t stop it completely but actually genuinely talk. That I might actually be impressed in.

      2. So Super does this take into account how easy it is to travel from city to city in Europe and the cost benefits associated with that?

        The point Beinart is trying to make is that we need to update our infrastructure. We are falling behind the countries that are doing it already. And I know notalib thinks like “all” americans, but continuous expanding of highways is not the answer. If so then lets just pave everything not paved already and really open it up!

        1. You can build it all you want, but are you ever going to take into account if people actually WANT to use it? You need to be able to tell people it will be affordable AND easier. Right now the plan is more expensive and not easier than driving. If I need to pay to park my car at the train station, then pay $60 round trip, and then pay for a cab or bus to get me around my arrival city, NO THANK YOU!

          1. Well with gas rising to $2.94 a gallon and the rising ticket costs for planes, I wouldn’t mind taking the train in order to get to business in Chicago or Minneapolis.

        2. So Super does this take into account how easy it is to travel from city to city in Europe and the cost benefits associated with that?

          Repeat after me. We’re not Europe. The US has has about the same land area as all of Europe combined. About 4 times the square miles/km of Western Europe. The population densities are just completely different. All of Europe is around 180/square mile. And that’s including western Russia. The US less than half that – 83/sq. mile. Comparing the US with Europe in terms of travel is just apples to oranges because the geography is so different.

          Planes, trains, automobiles (and buses) all have their place. But use the right tool for the job.

  6. “…building trains only a rich few will ride…”

    Whoa, they’ve been selling this almost fast train thing all wrong…if it was described as an exclusive government supplied perk for the top 2% of income earnings in the country, it’d have been built from Milwaukee to Oconomowoc already!

    1. Regardless of how it’s being sold, liberals are the ones pushing exactly what you described: an exclusive government supplied perk for a select few (probably a few Milwaukee area legislators going to the capitol) paid for on the backs of the rest of working Wisconsinites. You nailed it on the head, Ed!

  7. The trains are a tool for economic development and if Scott Walker seriously believed in economic development he’d be jumping on the train figuratively and literally. Tom Still, President of the Wisconsin Technology Network has supported high speed rail as he sees it connecting the knowledge centers in Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago and eventually Minneapolis. The more literal connections there are between these communities, the more integration and cross-fertilization of the businesses, universities and entrepreneurs that will generate the new products, new businesses and new ideas for the future. This is economic development.

    Beyond the benefits from knowledge work force connections accelerated by the train, there are economic development benefits that come from increased tourism and increased meetings business. Meeting planners look at the ease of access and the facilities when selecting sites. If Scott Walker had been Governor or Dane County Executive at the time they were created, we wouldn’t have had the jewels we have in Monona Terrace and the Overture Center – 2 facilities that have enhanced Madison as a destination and as a community for its residents.

    China is accelerating their development of high speed rail and other infrastructure, while we have “do nothing Republicans” whose continuing ideas of economic development are tax cuts for the wealthy so that they can buy their foreign made luxury vehicles and support the continued growth of the middle class and the wealthy outside of North America. In the meantime our infrastructure declines, our labor markets shrink, our population gets more angry and we listen to the idiocy of the Tea Party “no nothings” and the GOP “do nothings” when it comes to the economic solutions for the future.

    1. By your logic, the state should build a huge skyscraper as a tool of economic development and then just wish and hope that it is filled with businesses after it is built. I’m not against the idea of rail, but between Milwaukee and Madison just doesn’t make sense yet. It’s not economical and I have no means to get around those cities when I get off the train.

      As for connecting “knowledge centers” — isn’t that what we have the internet and teleconferencing for?

      Don’t those “jewels” you speak of in Madison cost the taxpayers a lot of money? Last I heard that Overture Center was bankrupt.

      1. apples and oranges….its an economy now where people need to travel. I think it makes perfect sense between Milwaukee and Madison, especially if it eventually branches to chicago, mInneapolis, green bay, appleton, indianapolis, etc…

        Overture center is broke for a myraid of reasons but you really need places like that in your city it just needs to be ran a little better. Also Monona Terrace is a great place and brings in tons of business.

        1. In my opinion if the average person uses the Milwaukee-Madison train once or twice a year, it does not make sense. Again, how is it going to be economical and make sense for the average commuter to use daily or weekly? Also, how many people are commuting back and forth to those cities daily, weekly, or even monthly? There’s just not enough people doing that yet to justify it.

        2. If anything, I think it’s an economy where people need to travel less, thanks to instant communication. You throw in some pretty small cities– Green Bay, Appleton?!?!

          1. Green Bay is the third largest city and home to the Green Bay Packers which in itself is a huge franchise and very impressive in it’s own right.

            People that go to games can stay in Milwaukee and go by train to the Packer games, which will provide us ultimately more revenue. Or do you hate the Packers too because it’s a non-profit, community-owned franchise? Oh my god, Wisconsin has been rooting for a bunch of communists!

            May I ask what part of the state you are from?

            1. Yeah build a train for 8 games a year. And why would Green Bay want people staying in Milwaukee and not partaking in hotels, restaurants, bars, etc in Green Bay itself?!

              The Packers are owned by stockholders, not the community per se, and for the record I think that’s just GREAT.

              1. Because?

                PROTIP: Brown County gets all of it’s hotels filled up when a Packer Game goes on. The Counties around it even get filled up. If we have a train, we would have more of a profit and more people to get to games and it would benefit Milwaukee as well. In fact, we may even add onto our beautifully designed stadium because more people would be coming to the games.

                Therefore, this train could benefit Milwaukee as well if you think about it.

                You also didn’t answer the question. What part of the state are you from? It’s obvious I’m from the Northeastern portion of it.

              2. I would take the madison to Milwaukee train a few times a year. i would go to bucks games and more brewer games if it stopped there. It would be fun to take a group of people to the brewer games on the train, could party and noone would have to worry about driving home.

                1. if there were stops at Miller Park from Green Bay I would use the train over driving. I remember the stories my dad told of taking the train to Milwaukee and Chicago for Packer games. I am usre they would not be as fun but …….

                  1. Oh yes, I remember those nostalgic stories as well from my grandparents – they told me how they went from train Green Bay to Milwaukee. The biggest mistake was to remove the train from Green Bay and Milwaukee in my personal opinion.

                    🙁 I mean, I would be fine with even a normal train to be connected? Just to relax, go on a train ride, eat on it, and so on. I could just go on that ride, to the games, to my family in Milwaukee, and they could have an easier time visiting us too.

              3. Yeah build a train for 8 games a year.

                Actually it’s only 3 games, plus one preseason game that have “Milwaukee” ticket holders. Some chunk of which, didn’t purchase the tickets when the Packers stopped playing at County Stadium, some by attrition. Of course it’s certainly fair to say that some percentage of “Green” package ticket holders also come from Milwaukee or neighboring areas.

  8. Well WISN 12 is reporting that the state has halted work on the train and that it’s a dead issue…

  9. True high speed rail only makes sense when it can economically complete with airlines. So it is best when able to travel at 200 mph, doesn’t have any local stations and connects urban destinations within a few hundred miles of each other. In these situations door to door times and costs are about equal and the train is often more comfortable.

  10. One thing to keep in mind…the interstate system didn’t open full blown across the entire nation in one fell swoop either…it started out as a bunch of small segments connecting cities like Milwaukee to Madison or Milwaukee to Chicago too. Maybe you don’t remember driving to Madison from here via Capital Drive.

  11. As shown by scott walker and tommy thompsons flip flops on the train, we are at a point in our politics where the neither side will let the other have a success.

    1. I’m not sure building a train hardly anyone will ride can be called a success? If there is so much potential here, why is there no private investment? I could even live with government fronting some of the start up costs if that were the case.

      1. Maybe because the private investment that’s trying to get on it has been all shipped over seas due to damaging trade agreements?

        I know some businesses in Green Bay that are fairly interested in this train, even if we’re not going to be first on the list.

        1. I think that’s kind of a lame argument. I mean a transportation company. If anything, won’t this train put the Badger Bus people out of business? Oh wait, it wil probably be cheaper and more convenient that riding the train, so they will be just fine.

            1. Lol, I just meant if you are blaming trade agreements for lack of businesses, then we don’t need a train to get people to and fro if there is no business activity in the first place! There are still investors out there in America and if there is a profit to be made, they will show up.

              I keep hearing all the liberal comments on here saying how great the train will be and how it is short sighted to cancel it, yet I NEVER hear any specific concerns addressed. It comes down to customer affordability and ease of use. To me it looks like neither of those objectives will be satisfied and the demand will not be there. If it is determined there is a huge demand, then fine. I don’t even see why this would be a partisan issue. It just comes down to common sense and a good use of taxpayer money. I guess that’s not a concern for liberals?

              1. Honestly? We have a ton of business being revived in Green Bay, we’re not completely there yet but the downtown is slowly being revived with great companies, restaurants, and clothing stores. Businesses are being open, small stores, the suburbs are fairly impressive in themselves – particularly De Pere and Aswaubenon.

                We need to give people more chances to actually you knowget to Green Bay instead of saying that it so isn’t fair for you because you can use a car or an actual plane to get from place to place. Alternate ways of transportation should exist, multiple opportunities for people to get to place to place instead of the just the highway and only the highway.

                You’re demeaning Appleton, Oshkosh, and Green Bay – the Fox Cities in general which are rapidly growing at a stellar pace. Do not underestimate their importance.

                1. I love your passion for the Green Bay metro area. Are you on the forum SKYSCRAPER CITY the Green Bay Development forum? If not you should be.

                  1. I’m thinking I’m going to plan to be, I do watch the thread at Skyscapercity a lot.

                    I want to see Green Bay grow to it’s full potential, because it’s just that – a potentially beautiful city and we should do all in it’s power to revive the downtown and make it what it deserves to be. My grandparents always went on to tell me how nice it was back in the day, before the whole Port Plaza Mall came into existence.

                    I’m actually very tired of Madison ignoring us, that’s why I was so excited for the train. You see, Green Bay has a bizarre case of being cut off from Milwaukee – it should have a direct connection to Milwaukee, by some shape or form. I don’t care of it’s Republican or Democrat who do it, I just want Green Bay to stop being ignored for other than Football games.

                    I know we don’t agree politically, but I do love the city of Green Bay and I’m tired of people ripping on it when they don’t know anything about it. ( I have no problem ripping on it, personally. For example, “Hey, we have a beautiful lake front… LET’S NOT USE IT!” )

  12. forgot i was referring to tommy and scott walker supported it long agao when tommy was in power. I cant see how the demand has went down.

    By the way, I travel between Madison and Milwaukee quite often and its always busy.

    1. Yeah I do remember Tommy supporting something similiar, was it with AmTrack? Like I said, I’m not opposed to the idea of rail. But Proud Progressive, tell me, would you take this train as a frequent traveler between those cities? Do you need to drive around either city once you arrive? How much are you willing to pay? I realize I-94 is often busy, but it’s still just a two lane road, that really doesn’t usually get THAT busy until you get close to Milwaukee.

  13. Scott Walker promised 250,000 jobs in four years. Twelve hundred jobs per week. One hundred-seventy per day. Every day. For four years.

    Certainly he MUST have a plan to make up for the 140 Milwaukee jobs that will vaporize when he cancels rail, not to mention all of the jobs directly involved with construction and those created in the service sector, etc.

    He must also have a plan to make up for all the teachers that will be losing their jobs when he eviscerates the education budget.

    That Scott Walker. Smart guy.

    1. Just like the 3.5 million Recovery Act jobs that Obama said his Summer of Recovery,” promise would create? Reality vs Campaign promises intelligent people know the difference.

      1. Except that Walker is talking out of both sides of his mouth. One side he’s promising job creation and on the other he’s advocating killing jobs. My point is that he has no intention whatsoever to follow through on the promise. At least the Obama administration made and earnest attempt. Since April, non-farm payroll has risen by 874,000. If it hadn’t been that corporations have refused to hire despite enormous financial incentives, we would be a lot closer to that goal.

  14. You mean charlie sykes and vicki mckenna have not been giving out the best information???

  15. I was just about to write a sane statistic-filled note here – citing how energy efficient and safe trains are, telling you that business freight will also be upgraded simultaneously, that there is a “if you build it they will come” factor with such infrastructure,that 330,000 people are projected to take this added leg of added passenger train….awww screw it! I can just see little conservative eyelids drooping as I write! So let me be as slanderous and slimy as the news source you know and love – FOX!: Walker is a job killer, feeding $ that should go to me and to you to his good friends at the top.He’ll aggressively pursue the weak and poor with privately funded guards that are police in name only, store them away in privately funded prisons, and blame them for their own ills – particularly if those ills involve abortion, contraception, or women’s freedom. He’ll do his best to side with AT&T and squash high speed infrastructure that is set to feed central and northern WI too- because it’s always going to be screw the people. That’s his personal, if not public, mandate. He’ll put the screws to unions, which are providing family supporting jobs because unions aren’t good for his business friends. I see that the AFL-CIO is for trains! Oh my goodness! Anything that they are for, he is against. [wow. this is really fun!! bumping it up a notch now] If Scott Walker were walking by and you were putting a sandwich up to your mouth, he would grab it and eat it right in front of you. Chewing rather slowly… [Whew] As you can see my Fox news style needs work. I slipped some actual fact in there. We are going to get knocked back into a Red State stone age in WI but I’m going to have fun turning up the hate in the meantime. Thanks for giving us such a fun villain, my Red-Voting friends!

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