|Russia Constructing High-Speed Rail System for 2018 World Cup.|
Scott Walker rejected $810 for reasons surpassing understanding.
It's happening all over the county.
Much of the first-world has high-speed trains and building them means a lot of jobs.
Warren Buffet advocates high-speed rail. Joel Rogers and think tanks advocate this type of infrastructure.
Environmentalists support it. President Obama champions it.
But Scott Walker and the Tea Party hate high-speed trains so much that Walker infamoulsy refused $810-million in federal funds for high-speed trains because ... well, for reasons only the intellectual heavies in the Tea Party caucus can comprehend. They have to check their Ayn Rand book for guidance.
Trains Magazine has a piece by Matt Van Hattem on transportation systems that most the world takes as necessary as the U.S. interstate highway system.
Dave Cieslewicz in Isthmus has an excellent overview on Walker's appalling decision:
Train cars are referred to as 'rolling stock.' Now, thanks to Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislators who run this state, Wisconsin is thought of as a 'laughingstock.'Hey, this is creating trade, culture, and community among great cities.
Had Tom Barrett won the election for governor in 2010, right now, June 2013, would have seen the opening of Madison's high-speed rail station, connecting us to Milwaukee and Chicago immediately and the Twin Cities eventually.
Creating jobs, helping communities, and with the proliferation of labor-intensive jobs, Wisconsin's quality of life would become a magnet.
But this conflicts with Scott Walker's extremist-crazy ideology.
To borrow from Steve Benan, who wrote about Florida Gov. Scott rejecting the federal high-speed rail project":
After Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) had "deliberately turned down federal funding—and tens of thousands of jobs—for a high-speed rail project," in 2011 what will the reaction be in the 2014 election?
Writes Benen: "If Florida would've had a governor who rejected President Eisenhower's idea, we wouldn't have an interstate system," U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who has been vocally supportive of the project even as conservatives attacked him for it, said via Twitter Wednesday afternoon. ...
If President Obama proposed something like [the interstate system] today, we can probably imagine the reaction. Right-wing activists would demand to know where in the Constitution it says the federal government can build a highway; Republicans would file lawsuits in carefully-chosen courts; Fox News would call it a socialist experiment; Bachmann and Beck would tell us it's a plot to make it easier for the president to send Americans to re-education camps run by George Soros; and ridiculous governors would resist this oppressive and unprecedented federal overreach.I believe Ike was beyond the threats of the marginal crazies who resided in the John Birch Society.
But that's only because the contemporary Republican Party has become so ridiculous. Did Eisenhower actually have to deal with similar stupidity? Was the interstate highway system ever in jeopardy because of hysterical ideologues?
Besides that, the Interstate highway system paved the way for massive growth within the automobile industry and interstate commerce via semi-tractor trailers instead of via the freight trains that were previously the backbone of industrial trade in the U.S. But both systems pushed on, as consumer travel later proliferated.
Today, marginal crazies are called the Tea Party, and every sane, decent Republican holds them in contempt—but largely are silent bystanders hoping they will go away.
Scott Walker, Rick Scott, the whole bunch of retrograde ignoramuses who advocate faith-based infrastructure will, if we work, be a blip on American progress.
A national interstate highway system and a high-speed rail system that is the envy of the world—the U.S can do both.
Let's hope cars and public transportation can work together.