Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois have been working to establish a high speed rail line between Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis for the better part of a generation now. A huge amount of investment has been made in the project, but now, all that’s been scuttled – for at least another 10 or 15 years, if not permanently. An economical, efficient form of transportation for the Midwest has been wrecked.
Why? It’s because Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is playing ideological games. Walker has refused to apply federal dollars to the portion of the high speed rail project that’s in Wisconsin, even though the project would boost business productivity in the northern Midwest, revitalizing the economy and thus helping to reduce the federal budget deficit.
No one’s claiming that there aren’t opportunities for spending cuts in the federal budget – cuts of military pork barrel programs that even the Pentagon says have no strategic value, for example. Scott Walker’s stubborn blockage of high speed rail in the Midwest isn’t an example of smart cutting. It’s an example of partisan posturing, and it’s putting Wisconsin communities at a dramatic disadvantage.
It’s no wonder that Wisconsin voters regret their decision to elect Scott Walker as Governor. Look out for a Wisconsin Against Walker bumper sticker near you – because Wisconsin needs better leadership.