The train is a leavin….

Vicki Mckenna got her wish:

The Obama administration is taking about $1.2 billion in high-speed rail money for Wisconsin and Ohio and awarding it to projects in other states after the incoming Republican governors in both states promised to kill the projects.

“High-speed rail will modernize America’s valuable transportation network, while reinvigorating the manufacturing sector and putting people back to work in good-paying jobs,” LaHood said in a statement. “I am pleased that so many other states are enthusiastic about the additional support they are receiving to bring America’s high-speed rail network to life.”

The one good thing I can see about Walker killing the train is now money is no object. Since he is willing to send $850 billion dollars away and thus force us to pay $100 billion dollars to cover the loss in WI taxpayer money, then to him money is apparently no object. He no longer needs to attack the unions and try and get them to balance the budget and schools should expect to get back their complete 2/3 funding since now taxpayer money means nothing to the newly elected governor. This proves once again never let a “fiscal conservative” around your money!

I just hope the Talgo workers will be given the option to relocate with the company.


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18 thoughts on “The train is a leavin….

  1. Personally I hope the Talgo Workers can relocate too. But I can’t say I’m too surprised.

    I always preferred a tax and spend liberal over a borrow and spend conservative.

  2. I’m just livid!
    How can anyone claim to be for economic development, jobs and a new economy and turn down federal money that would have contributed to all three of these? The GOP, the Chambers of Commerce, the newspapers who supported Governor-elect Walker (I’m talking to you Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Wisconsin State Journal) should all be ashamed of this day when due to the actions of one man, this state was set backwards on one of the legs of transportation infrastructure – high speed rail.

  3. Whatever. The voters voted for Walker. He said he would kill it. Why are you guys suprised? In fact, kudos to Walker. He kept a campaign promised before he even set foot into office!

    1. Actually, before any of the conservatives jump in, I have to say he said it was in his ‘plan’ that highways/roads/bridges would be created. Because he said it was a plan, he therefore didn’t promise it.

      It’s kind of like how Republicans are actually aware their candidate of choice can’t often can’t keep their promises so they expect the Democrats to work to a higher standard.

    2. Thank you, T. He never promised it, he merely said he’d like to use it to repair the roads and bridges.

      You know what else? If the train had gone forward, you guys would have called him a liar and hypocrite for going back on a campaign promise.

      1. Personally I would have went “Good show.” if he did go through with the train instead. But oh well. I can live with it, heavens I grew up in a red state before, I can still live in one as much as I’m extremely unhappy about the situation.

        Walker whether you like it or not, has already begun his political suicide with his extremist values – particularly against Unions. He is putting a lot on the line, whether people like it or not.

        Plus, the whole 250,000 jobs promise. This is an unrealistic number from an economic standpoint. And believe you me, the people of Wisconsin – at first maybe just the liberals and democrats – but eventually all of them will scream, “where are the jobs?”

        But hey, I have no problem with this. I work a full time job at 105 dollars an hour. It won’t effect me as much, and especially considering where I work? I’ll be benefiting from the failures and the successes of the businesses regardless.

        1. I hate to bring this up T., but here is a quote from you:

          “If we didn’t spend money already? I’d say go ahead and stop the train, but the fact is this has been in plans even as early 2009 as someone who has kept track of politics.”

          Now that you know we don’t have to pay back the money, as cited by Locke below, you should not be “extremely unhappy.”

          1. We do got to pay back some money. If you read what he is saying we have to pay back $15 million. You can say that is chump change and economically the cutting taxes, funding, and so on doesn’t work. It has to continue coming from somewhere and I think it will effect the sales tax instead in sort of a sneaky way as it does in more red states like say Montana, Wyoming, and so on. I’m not being a negative nancy here, but I’m being realistic.

            I personally never said the 100 million bit, that was another number tossed around. (If I did it was probably a typo by accidentally adding an extra zero and lack of reading over what I sent.)

            1. the hundred million comes in the fact that we spent 15 million already and we have 85 million in repairs to other lines that are needed and have to be done. This $85 million was going to be covered by the money now it is not.

              1. … Oh shit.

                Yeah, I forgot to count that weird math. (I personally put the 10 million portion that we spent and I figured that was it thus it was a moment “okay that wasn’t so bad” but now it’s a moment of “FUUUUUUUUUUUU–“)

              2. Except that you’re assuming something you don’t remotely know to be true. You know what they say about making assumptions. At this point, saying that it’s certain or even likely that there will be no federal funds for those other things is way to premature. And it’s not actually accurate to say it was $85 million to “repair other lines” either. $19 million to renovate a shed and $52 million (!?!) to build a maintenance facility for new trains is $71 million. Not sure why you need a $50+ million facility for maintenance of new trains, but whatever.

                And second of all, why should federal taxpayers foot the bill for the upgrades anyway? Hell even the state for that matter. It’s Milwaukee’s benefit, if it’s worth it, the Milwaukee area should pay for it.

                From the article linked, sounds like LaHood has already said Wisconsin won’t have to pay the money already spent or committed (<$15 million).

  4. From a JS article:

    The announcement from U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood held out some hope that Wisconsin may not be on the hook for all of the $9 million or so it has already spent on the project, plus another $5.25 million in cancellation fees and other contractual commitments.

    But wait…I thought you all said it was going to cost $100 million to cancel it? That number was thrown out constantly as the biggest reason to not cancel the project. This article says less than $15 million (a couple of years operating costs) and there’s still a possibility it won’t even cost that much. Were you all lying or just repeating talking points without questioning them?

  5. When there is a real need and when there is a real high speed train not one that runs at 79mph lets look at it again. But people need to be realistic….well actually thats why America has conservatives to help progressives in their land of make believe.

    1. Honestly, I’d be for a faster train myself, but we can put that on a backburner for now. I don’t think the idea is dead and will come again, but let’s hope it is when we’re out of this recession, pay back what we owe, and have money to spend. Because hey, if we have a surplus, why not spend it if we have enough? (As long as we don’t go into the red.)

      Ah well, I hope Green Bay flourishes enough so maybe that people can get – you know. An idea, “Hey!!! Maybe we should reconnect with our third biggest power house in the state.”

      At least if Scott Walker royally messes up within the next four years, I can eat my jars I canned downstairs of vegetables, fruits, and stuff. The deer meat. Ultra prepared people! (Okay, no. I actually always did this ever since my grandparents told me how and it saves a lot.)


    Senators Mark Pocan and Mark Miller sent scott Walker a letter asking him how he is going to cover the $100 million now that we are on the hook for. Walker has yet to answer.

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Two Democratic state lawmakers are asking Gov.-elect Scott Walker to explain how he’ll pay for certain train-related expenses after the Republican refused federal money that would have covered them.

    Walker turned down $810 million to build high-speed rail between Madison and Milwaukee. He said the state could get stuck paying for upkeep.

    Mark Pocan in the Assembly and Mark Miller of the Senate told Walker on Wednesday his refusal means Wisconsin taxpayers could now be liable for related projects worth $101 million.

    Those include $52 million for a train-maintenance facility and $30 million for freight-rail upgrades.

    However, fiscal analyst Jon Dyck of the state Legislative Fiscal Bureau said lawmakers have the option of scaling back the projects to save money.

    Walker’s office didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

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