Governor Pawlenty is Way Off Track

…and so too should be the plan to spend billions, that we don’t have by the way, on a high-speed link to Chicago.

According to the plan, freight and passenger rail 20-year capital costs could range from $6.2 billion, with nearly two-thirds of that provided by federal, state and local government. The Twin Cities-Chicago line is expected to top $1 billion alone.

The plan was ordered last year by the state Legislature, well before a scramble erupted in many states to push their own high-speed rail plans. That was triggered by the infusion of $8 billion in federal stimulus money specifically earmarked for such rail lines nationwide.

Ah yes, the ubiquitous stimulus “dollars.” A misnomer if ever there was one, as they should be called the stimuless “debt.” There are no dollars, and wasting money on what will amount to be a string of empty tin cans traveling the tundra at high speed will stimulate nothing but the sugar-plum dreams of liberals spending other people’s money to build their little fairy tale world.

We can count on the Gov to lay down across the tracks and stop this nonsense, right?

Gov. Tim Pawlenty, previously not a big advocate of high- speed rail, endorsed the Twin Cities-Chicago route last spring.

[sound of scratching record]

Not so much.

Funny thing is, we already have a high-speed link to Chicago.

Its called an airport.

…where by the way, we just spent a mountain of cash on to add another runway

I’ve seen flights as cheap as $25 to Chicago this year.

The Minnesotan that can’t afford a flight has no business in Chicago.

The Chicagoan that can’t…I’d just as soon he stay down there.

15 thoughts on “Governor Pawlenty is Way Off Track

  1. This airport system you speak of. Is this the one that has been become absolutely useless because of a terrorist organization called the TSA? I mean, I have consistently refused to remove my shoes in order to fly, I’m certainly not going to remove my underwear! It’s silly. Why don’t we try to track the one shoe bomber we’ve had in the last several years, rather than checking 12 Billion shoes?

  2. high speed rail has been very successful in Europe and Japan.

    Wow,just think, bringing the US into the 21st century technology, when we’re what, nearly a decade into it? Time we update the infrastructure, with a variety of forms of transportation — for when one fails, among other reasons. Anyone else remember how air travel shut down after 9/11?

  3. I dream of a train that would transport your car as well, so you have wheels when you get there. But otherwise, passenger rail service is really only viable in dense urban areas – like Japan and Europe.

  4. high speed rail has been very successful in Europe and Japan.

    …you mean like light rail has been very “successful” here in Minneapolis?

    How do you define success in your little Europtopia?

    Just because you see trains everywhere and even if they are full does not mean they are successful. I can’t put my hand on it at this moment, but one of us did a post on the fact that higher-than-expected ridership on our very own light rail forced MTC to actually ask for more money because they lose more when people ride more.

  5. I see, so wingnuts are in favor of subsidizing air travel and highways, just not rail.

  6. I would support a reasonable expansion of Amtrak service (and a slight speedup) before I would support a second airport in Dakota county (remember that proposal is still out there) or a third Chicago ariport be built.

  7. I see, so wingnuts are in favor of subsidizing air travel and highways, just not rail.

    Nope. Just railing (pun intended) against more wasteful subsidies.

  8. Transportation subsidies can be wasteful or they can be critical to economic development. Google: “Erie Canal” or “transcontinental railroad.”

  9. Or private enterprise can build it themselves, without government.

    Google “James J. Hill.”

  10. Or private enterprise can build it themselves, without government.

    …and create “net net” jobs, not just adding more payroll for the taxpayer to pay.

  11. Clown is right, in way. transportation projects, which by their nature burden the few for the (possible) betterment of the many, are an appropriate place for the government to intervene in the marketplace. Eminent domain is in the Constitution.
    It must also be said that all such projects are subject to corruption and the two examples Angry Clown cites were rife with it.
    The people behind this project don’t even have the excuse that they are opening the Way West, they are trying to distribute $8 billion of public money among their contributors and constituents.

  12. Dog Gone,

    You cannot compare the success of rail in Europe and especially Japan to the US. The population density in both places is far greater than it is here. It DOES make sense in Europe and especially Japan. It does not make sense here. Anyone who does not have a chicken in that pot will tell you the same thing.

  13. For what it’s worth, high speed rail is also highly subsidized even in Europe and Japan, where all of the other factors–population density and so on–are far more in its favor than here. So it’s incorrect to state that high speed rail works overseas. It clearly does not pay its own way.

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