cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Too many of our politicians have been into the political candy jar again and are on the 'sugar high' of all time. They seem absolutely giddy at the vision of all that money they see dancing before their eyes.
We are going to have an 'economic stimulus' program to get our economy out of the doldrums and moving once again. That is the good news. The bad news is that we are going to have an 'economic stimulus' program.....
Economies are stimulated when workers and taxpayers are allowed to keep more of the money we earn and then choose to put it to work by buying things. Economies are stimulated when those with money are encouraged to invest that money. Economies are not stimulated by the 'make work' projects of the New Deal, yet that is precisely where we're being pointed.
Governor Doyle is dreaming of a high speed rail system that would tie Chicago and Minneapolis together with Milwaukee and Madison benefiting because the rail system would go through their locales. That threatened his vote-getting ability in Northeast Wisconsin, so we'd also see a 'spur' going to Green Bay. Never mind that people won't use this service because it will never be as efficient as other forms of transportation. Never mind that this 'investment' will benefit only the very few who would find new contracts awaiting them. We don't build rail lines with humans like we did when last crossing the nation with ribbons of steel, so only a few will reap benefits...and they'll want to make political contributions, of course.
Another problem is that these kinds of things require ongoing budgets to keep them running, and they require subsidization to coax passenger counts up to the point where they justify the expenditures. And they require operating budget increases since all the associated costs will continue to rise.
And, they require legislation to change our habits; to make our desired modes of transportation so expensive and/or impractical that we're forced to do what they want...use the rail system. It becomes another self-perpetuating gobbler of resources.
The Milwaukee County Executive took all kinds of shots when he simply stated, in essence, that we can't afford to take all that federal money because it always carries a very high price tag going forward. His problem only served to remind us that we're extremely short-sighted and, apparently, doomed to repeat failed policies over and over again.
Worse than everything above is this: this is but one example of the boondoggles we'll be paying for...forever! And, we already have much on our plates what with keeping auto manufacturers running, and airlines flying, and investment banking firms solvent...and the political machine fed.
This will not stimulate our economy. It will, in fact, delay the return of our economy to its former robust stature.
But, it will help to grow government and, after all, isn't that what it is all about?