Rejected Train Windfall by Florida

Leaving Train

One the one hand, as a resident of not-Florida, I’m amused by this:

After Gov. Rick Scott of Florida thoughtlessly rejected $2.4 billion in federal aid for a high-speed rail line, he claimed last month that he was doing a huge favor for the national Treasury, which he expected would give away the money in tax cuts. That was nonsense, of course; Mr. Scott was really doing a favor for train passengers in the Northeast, Midwest and California, which were given $2 billion of his money on Monday for better service.  Florida voters might want to think about that decision as they sit in traffic jams, burning up $4-a-gallon gasoline. In fact, some of them clearly have thought about it because Mr. Scott now has some of the worst approval ratings of a Florida official in the last decade.

He has joined other newly elected Republican governors so rigidly opposed to the Obama administration that they are willing to harm their states to score points. The result is a crazy quilt of state relationships with Washington, stitched more with ideology than reason.

None of the money in Monday’s announcement will be going to Wisconsin, for example, where Gov. Scott Walker has also decided that his strapped state could do without rail improvements and the construction jobs that go with them. Nor will it go to Ohio, where Gov. John Kasich preferred rejectionism to the improvement of rail service among the state’s largest cities, which could have produced 16,000 jobs.

Instead, it will go to 15 states that have more farsighted leadership, who understand the important role federal dollars can play in stimulating the economy, moving people quickly from place to place and reducing tailpipe emissions. Some of those states are led by Republicans: Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan happily stood beside Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday to accept nearly $200 million to upgrade the rail line between Dearborn and Kalamazoo, the bulk of the Chicago-Detroit corridor.

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but the whole point of having a national train network is that you can travel to any other point in the country reasonably quickly, and these teabagger morons are ruining this possibility.

Another Leaving Train

I’ve never heard a rational argument against upgrading our train infrastructure, other than mouth-dribbling anti-Obama spewing from the Republicans. Is it the asphalt industry? Automotive? Which corporate organizations are funding the Republican opposition? Curious.

Wouldn’t think it would be the energy companies, because trains need fuel too, but maybe ExxonMobile is afraid that if too many commuters don’t drive cars, their profits will be dinged?

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