Friday, November 19, 2010

MJS Invents Their Own Reality

I don't know if you'd call this lousy reporting or simply propaganda, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel must think we are stupid.

They have an article about the high speed rail saga, with this headline:
Public won't shoulder all cost if rail stalls
Then as you start to read the article itself, they write this (emphasis mine):

State taxpayers likely wouldn't wind up paying all of the $135 million that outgoing Gov. Jim Doyle's administration says would be tossed in their laps by the cancellation of a federally funded high-speed train project, a Journal Sentinel review of the costs shows.

At least $35 million could be covered by the federal or local governments or by the private sector, based on past funding patterns.

Um, you pays the taxes for the federal and local governments if not the public?

And now that the Republicans have taken over, does the paper really expect that the bulk of our taxes will be diverted from providing services to the public to providing rewards for Big Business?


  1. And where is the $810 million dollars coming from? Stimulus funds, from the federal government... where does the Fed get their money again?

  2. So where is the sense in paying for something and getting nothing but more bills for it? This is exactly what Walker is proposing to do.

  3. Wisconsin gets the short end in the federal balance of payments and has been for years, while states that claim they are against welfare, earmarks and other BS.

    Besides, this will be spending money to make money in the future. But surely Walker believes that by the time we hit peak oil, he'll be taken away by the rapture.

  4. Spending money we DON'T ACTUALLY HAVE. And if we build this thing, THAT'S when we'll be getting nothing but more bills for it. Because if it doesn't live up to expectations (which it won't) we can't just shut it down; we have to keep it running for TWENTY YEARS.

    No thanks, I'll pass on the train. Too expensive, too many strings attached.

  5. Why won't it work when it's worked everywhere else? Just cuz Charlie Sykes and Walker said so?

    And if we don't have the money, then we don't have the money to extend the tax cuts for the rich either.

  6. One of the hidden parts of that article is that the state's freight/ passenger rail lines need upgrades regardless of whether HSR is approved. So by giving back the federal money, Walker will have to use STATE funding to help pay for this instead. Pretty damn stupid to make only us in Wisconsin pay for it when the rest of the nation could be helping us out, don't you think?

    Maybe Scotty dropped out before he learned about "sunk costs" in college, but the sunk cost concept is a valuable tool to use in decision-making. Really.

  7. It won't work here like it does on Europe because in Europe, the population density is much higher.

    Besides, I've never gotten an answer to the question I've been bringing up all along (although I may not have brought it up here). Why don't we just upgrade the rail network we already have, instead of building a new one from the rails up? We already have a train running from Chicago to Minneapolis by way of Milwaukee; Amtrak's Empire Builder, which continues on to other points west, all the way to Seattle. If the good people of Madison really want a stop on the line, I'm sure the EB could be re-routed to stop there, and we could probably even maintain the stop in the Dells if folks there really wanted to keep it.

  8. Coop- Actually, the rail line to Madison would use a lot of the Empire Builder tracks, upgrading the existing lines for both passenger and freight rail. The only main change is that it would connect passenger rail to the state's 2nd largest city in a county of nearly 500,000 people and 40,000+ college students (a huge rail constituency).

    The other problem is that the Empire Builder runs once a day, while upgrading the tracks would up that to around 5 times a day- lot more convenient for people's schedules, and would probably decrease the amount of subsidies needed to operate as a result.

    And taking the feds' stimulus money means it'll come at a cost that would be a fraction to state taxpayers compared to what Scotty wants to do.

    It's no coincidence that support for this project is directly correlated to education and how many details you know about it (not surprisngly, the average Sykes listerner just hears "choo-choo" and "taxpayer dollars" and tends not to support as a result).