Now that the election is over, we can move onto another issue that is going to be as polarizing and divisive as anything that has come up prior to November-a high-speed train in Madison.
Just about everybody that you want to bring up the subject with has an opinion on this -- which is good. And many people that you don't want to bring up the subject with also have an opinion-which is crazy. So who's right and who's wrong? That depends.
This train seems to be all things to everybody. If you are self-sufficient, a lover of liberty and freedom, and like to come and go as you please, this train is a complete waste of money. If you need to go to Madison, you don't need to buy a ticket, go to another station, take a half fast trip to Madison and wind up at another destination for which you have no transportation. So you either need to hire a cab or buy another ticket for more public transportation. Although it may be a noble idea, the value of private transportation trumps it for me.
If you're a union member, this train solves a lot of problems. It creates jobs and puts people to work. People will go to work and now have a job. After work, you can take the train and go to will bar. This train will not only help you make a living but help you to make a life. Oh really.
For liberals, this train also solves a lot of problems. A couple of weeks ago, I asked for ridership numbers, and now I have one. And the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the other day, I read that 350,000 people will be writing this train the first year. 350,000. That's about 1000 a day. Where do they all come from? Where do they all belong?
For tired drivers, you'll be able to make phone calls and read e-mails instead of driving yourself. For all the multi-taskers, this has to be a great idea because you will no longer have any downtime. You'll be up to date. You'll even be able to read Logos of the Bogus. You can read it twice, the second time the humor gets better. According to the newspaper, many people will be able to go to Madison for their cultural events, museums, theater, and everything else that we don't have here in Milwaukee. You'll be able to go to concerts. And the good news is, you won't have to drive home all drunk and stoned. How many concerts will there be? And let's not forget the Badger games. The train will be taking all the Badger fans to Camp Randall Stadium. How big is this train?
Scott Walker was elected governor promising to stop the stream from being built. Although a large share of the construction cost is a wonderful gift from our generous federal government and effective stimulus plan, the operating costs will have to be subsidized by Wisconsin taxpayers. It is the gift for all of us to keep giving. Yes citizens, our taxes need to be higher. It's the only way to finance the train.
Now Scott Walker is taking a lot of political heat for keeping his campaign promise. So will there be another deal in the making? The federal government decides that it is not in its best interest to listen to the people of the country. No, they know what's best for you. You need the train and the money spent. You cannot reallocate this money for something that makes sense like road repair. It doesn't matter who receives it, everybody in America will be paying for it. Along with future generations. This is government at its worst.
Now there is a plan to give the money back. And use it for deficit reduction. This is merely symbolic? Or is it a symbol that Americans are serious about stopping government waste. People who actually pay taxes will end up paying more. The government who keeps wasting our money says that America cannot afford to give tax breaks. You earn it, they take it. That's progressive patriotism. The Democrats keep screaming that America cannot afford to give tax breaks that will cause a $700 billion increase in the deficit over 10 years. Yet it was prudent to spend $814 billion in a stimulus package over two years. Where did that money come from?
Will this train get built? At this point, I don't know. But one thing we can be sure of is that it's not going to be the answer to everyone's prayers like people claim it is. The economic growth projected will not be as robust that it is expected to bring because taxes will have to be raised so high for this project to break even. It's no wonder why the private sector would not even consider a project that is destined to become such a boondoggle. This is a nightmare that Wisconsin can do without.