We all remember the high-speed rail debate that helped propel Walker to his current position as dictator, I mean Governor, right? Walker was against high speed rail, citing the state’s burden of annual operating costs of approximately $7.5 million as his reasoning for rejecting federal rail funds, despite the possible creation of hundreds of jobs in the new industry. He won based on the promise of "saving taxpayer dollars".
But a report released December 8th from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau came with some astounding news (Click here for the analysis):
Wisconsin taxpayers are on the hook for between $65 - $84 MILLION to pay for required annual maintenance costs, including equipment and a temporary facility to house the state’s already-purchased Talgo train cars, design engineering, real estate acquisition and construction of a permanent maintenance facility and required improvements to the existing downtown Milwaukee train station to bring the facility into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Revised estimates, and the fact that federal aid would have covered almost 90% of our annual costs would have reduced the state’s yearly expenditures to as little as $750,000. If you do the math, Wisconsin would have gotten 112 years of maintenance on the high speed rail line for the same amount it is paying for work that would have been covered under the federal allocation. ~ http://www.wisdems.org/news/press/view/2011-12-scott-walkers-refusal-of-federal-rail-money-leaves-w
If I were looking for a job, I would rather find work on a high speed rail than in the coal mines of northern Wisconsin. What about you? And just how many jobs were lost when Walker pushed away the high speed rail? At it's height of production in 2012, estimates show that nearly 4,700 people would have been working on the project. Add that to the fact that Wisconsin led the nation in 9,700 jobs lost the other month plus the $65 MILLION we have to fork out for Walker's railroad buddies (remember the illegal campaign donations from WI & Southern Railroad?), and Scott Walker is pissing off people left and right.
I can guarantee that you will not hear this news on 620 WTMJ or 1130. Charile Sykes and Mark Behling cherry pick info and leave right-wingers short-sighted and uninformed. Thank God for NPR and Milwaukee Public Radio.
http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/111362019.html ~ article about jobs associated with the high speed rail project.