Friday, November 12, 2010

Getting Railed

Here is a perfect example of why Democrats continue to lose elections. They back-peddle and compromise...on everything. Jim Doyle has halted the Milwaukee-Madison rail project due to Walker's incesant whining. You're not out of office yet, Jim. You're still governor. Act like it!

Why does Doyle even invite Walker in to talk about this? Walker flatly stated that although he'd meet with Doyle about the issue before assuming the governorship, he was already certain he wouldn't change his mind and wants the rail project stopped. Do Walker and his archaic followers understand that Milwaukee is one of only a few major urban areas that does not have such a rail system? In economics and planning this is known as a comparative disadvantage. In fact, nearly every major city and region around the world have some type of rail system to move people on a daily basis.

"If Governor-elect Walker opposes the project, U.S. DOT has made it clear that the money will go to one of the many other states that intend to move forward with high speed passenger rail," stated Doyle. As Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary, has personally informed Walker, the federal government will not allow this money to be used for roads - squashing Walker's phony campaign claim that he would redirect the money to roads.

And, any money Wisconsin has already spent on the project would have to be paid back. Is this fiscal conservatism? Saying no to a linkage within a national infrastructure project, allowing millions of dollars to be wasted, and losing hundred of jobs? Talgo has already said that if the project disappears the company will also leave. That doesn't sound like being open for business to me. It is a completely unnecessary and self-induced clusterfuck of epic proportions for the incoming governor.

Walker complains about yearly operating costs; a primary reason he opposes the line. Always looking out for the people. What a guy! Oops, I mean, always holding out for more money for his corporate cronies. Less money for rail means a singular focus on the road-building cabal. 90 percent of the Milwaukee-Madison line would be covered by the federal government, just as they do with the Hiawatha line. If his supposed concern is operating costs, he has no concern!

What is happening in Wisconsin? This is embarassing. The government is us! Continually berating the government has accomplished nothing. Other than transferring control to unscrupulous hucksters like Scott Walker and the Republicans which have increased inequality while siphoning public dollars for their private playgrounds. Perpetually calling for deregulation and tax cuts on the rich in hopes of something trickling down to the rest of us is like cutting off one's nose to spite his/her face. We're only hurting ourselves by falling for their bullshit.

[I am so sick of hearing the economic-know-nothings preaching how tax cuts spur investment and job growth. We have been deregulating and cutting taxes the last forty years. This has also coincided with a highly volatile experience for the majority of workers - stagnating wages, dwindling retirement, and increased health care costs. If this is the "investment" and "growth" these "experts" are talking about, I want to hear from some other experts.]

The government is here to do things for all of us. It is not the public relations arm of business. It is here to provide us a legal system, clean water, transportation, fire and police protection, etc. It is what makes us a nation and a community. Government is not a business. It is a caretaker, a foundation, a backbone, a nurturer. Our own history has shown us that when we use the government properly - to build dams, highways, trains, public spaces; to invest in technology and medicine; to establish law and regulate commerce - we experience a shared prosperity.

Let's get back to a politics that benefits all us us. Not a politics that benefits the well-off and well-connected. The majority of our country can surely get on-board with that.

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