Saturday, January 30, 2010

I love trains, but...

I love trains, BUT...

For those of you comparing the proposed (I guess it's a done deal?) government supplied train travel here in Ohio to the government subsidy of roadways:

We pay for a large portion of highway funds through the gasoline tax. An overwhelmingly large portion of the population uses and needs the roads -- some small percentage of them to drive to and park for a train ride that takes twice as long as the same trip in a car.

Are there any passenger trains between large cities that currently run through Ohio? I'd be interested to know how many Ohioans currently use trains, compared to the population to which train travel is available, AND how many of them trip between cities.

This is the game we see time after time: Unveil some extraordinary government program, tell you it's good for you and expect you to live with it, knuckle under and pay for programs that YOU don't use. Then the stories come out that the program doesn't quite work, and that it would never survive without increased taxes (In this instance, ridership will be half of what is predicted, it's more expensive than what they said and the state is stuck with this mess and has to raise taxes to pay for it.). If it is operated and run by the government, no matter whether it is a failure, the workforce never gets laid off, its workers receive benefits largely unavailable to the taxpayers footing the bill, and get to retire after 30 years with 90% of their incomes - and inflationary increases.

And another thing while I'm on a roll: $400m is almost twice as much money as we are budgeting for Haiti next year... Haiti, a problem that will take BILLIONS of $ to make a dent.

"Senators working on the next annual foreign assistance budget have proposed at least $282 million for Haiti; the House proposal would provide at least $165 million."

We need real solutions for jobs, not make-work government programs that benefit a very small percentage of the population, and that have no measurable value return to the people who pay for them.

"I love trains", but they really need to put some more thought in this. Shouldn't they start with light rail IN the cities before they try to connect them?

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