So let’s just recap a few facts regarding the proposed high speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison, a project that has now been de-funded by the federal government:
- Wisconsin receives $810 million in funding from federal government to fund high speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison.
- Gov. Jim Doyle accepts the money and planning is begun on the high speed rail line.
- Scott Walker campaigns against the high speed rail line and vows to “kill” it if elected governor.
- Walker also opines that he believes said high speed rail funding can be re-purposed for road repairs.
- Scott Walker wins gubernatorial election and high speed rail line is in fact “killed.”
- High speed rail funding is not re-purposed, but is instead pulled by federal government and reallocated to states that actually want high speed rail.
However, according to Randal O’Toole, a far-right conservative policy analyst for the Cato Institute, the federal government’s decision to re-allocate the $810 million in high speed has absolutely nothing to do with Scott Walker’s opposition to the high speed rail line and is instead “political retribution” against the voters of Wisconsin.
While Randal O’Toole and the folks from the MacIver Institute believe the federal government’s decision to acquiesce to governor-elect Scott Walker’s request to kill the high speed rail line by re-allocating the $810 million set aside for that project is “political retribution,” the real reason why that money was pulled from Wisconsin is simple: Scott Walker wanted it pulled. Scott Walker and his supporters made it very clear they didn’t want a high speed rail line between Milwaukee a Madison, so I’m not exactly understanding how giving the money to folks who really want high speed rail is “political retribution.”
Then again, given the propensity of Scott Walker and his supporters to blame others for Walker’s missteps, the “political retribution” angle could be how Walker and his supporters blame others for the loss of jobs that will ensue as a result of Walker’s opposition to high speed rail, especially on the heels of news that Talgo (and the good jobs it created) will likely be leaving Wisconsin now that Wisconsin’s high speed rail money has gone to other states.