Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gov. Kasich Avoids Rail Trap--Doesn't Take Slow Mo 3C Train to More Debt

Governor Kasich was villified for not taking the federal money for the slow mo 3C train. Of course, Kasich saw the inefficiency of the tra, and tried to get that money diverted to real infrastructure projects for the state. The Feds refused, and Kasich said thanks but no thanks to Ted Strickland's pipe dream. Thank goodness he did. California said yes and they are paying a very high price. From the Lima News:
California taxpayers were led into the trap and could be on the hook for over $6.8 Billion dollars! Read more below:

Amid a stagnant economy, a staggering stock market, governments at all levels straining to stay in the black and taxpayers already burdened to the hilt, the last thing Ohio needs is a commitment to spend even more. Given that, Gov. John Kasich is looking like a genius for refusing federal high-speed rail money.

One needs look only at California — which Ohio government more and more had begun to resemble — to see the folly of government-subsidized high-speed rail. The Golden State’s cost for a relatively small piece of the state’s overall high-speed rail pipe dream has almost doubled. The federal government isn’t picking up any of that doubling in cost, leaving already strapped California taxpayers to pay the bill.

Kasich and Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, took some heat, particularly from Democrats and proponents of subsidizing every thinkable alternative mode of transportation for refusing a combined $1.2 billion for high-speed rail. Kasich and Ohio legislative Republicans said Ohio would be on the hook for future spending to subsidize rail at a time when it barely could pay its current bills. California is proving Kasich right.

The latest setback for this multibillion-dollar boondoggle is the rail agency’s own “adjustment” of the cost for a small segment of the 400-plus-mile system, our sister paper The Orange Country Register reported. It is believed to cost up to $13.9 billion — $6.8 billion more than the $7.1 billion estimate — to construct tracks in the middle of the state from Merced to Bakersfield.If ever there was a clear-cut case to avoid wasting billions of taxpayer dollars, this is it. The good news for Californians is that the train can be stopped before massive spending begins next year when construction on the train to nowhere is scheduled to commence. The better news for Ohioans is that Kasich stopped any such boondoggle from happening in this state before it ever had a chance to leave the federal station.