Sunday, February 20, 2011

The GOP Hates Trains

They Hate Them Even When Uncle Sam Pays

London-Swansea high speed train
The GOP hates a lot of things, but their inchoate rage against public transit is uniform, unthinking and unwavering. GOP governors are apparently making it the latest litmus of lock-step ideological intransigence. First it was New Jersey Governor Christie and Wisconsin's new wingnut darling Scott Walker. Then Ohio's John Kasich.

Now Rick Scott of Florida has joined the nincompoopery.

Scott's objections to the project? He's concerned that the state will be on the hook for cost overruns, that ridership won't meet projections, and that the system won't be able to pay for itself.

Which raises an interesting comparison with the interstate highway system.

"Can you imagine if the governor had tried to kill Eisenhower's interstate highway system? That's what we are facing today," Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) was quoted as saying in The Florida Times-Union.

It's an apt comparison, because roads don't pay for themselves, either. Any attempt to help them do so—by raising the gas tax, for instance, or implementing a tax based on how far you drive—is met with howls of resistance, especially from Republicans.
I just hope our more enlightened Governor here in Washington makes a play for those spurned federal dollars. We could quite happily lead the nation in building modern infrastructure. Why should the Chinese be the only ones at the party?

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