Thursday, February 12, 2009

First $300 Million In Stimulus Funding Committed By Gov. Doyle...

To highway projects.

No surprise there. Look at the gargantuan spending the state has committed to freeway expansion in SE Wisconsin, even as driving is falling, and demand for transit is up.

So will the next $300 million go for train construction, like the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter line, or other rail projects - - all of which are job-creators, long and short term?

Or to the Milwaukee Housing Trust Fund, as someone has suggested, or to dozens of worthy, job-creating and especially to green initiatives?

5 comments:

Dave Reid said...

Jim,
Take a close look at the list. Not one item in Milwaukee County either! We have plenty of state highways (many within the City of Milwaukee) that could definitely need funding to repair (not expand).

tww said...

.... So will the next $300 million go for train construction, like the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter line, or other rail projects - - all of which are job-creators, long and short term?

Light rail and road construction both create jobs in the short term.

Light rail's long term jobs are in the form of government employees running a system that requires 60-80% of public tax dollars to maintain. Oh, I forgot there will be a Starbucks or donut shop adjacent to certain stations - each of which will be adding to the population of minimum wage earners.

Sure Jim, let's spend $300 million for 7 miles of track on a project that 1% of the population will utilize.

Your premise is old.

Without any factual information, your creditiblity is waning.

Joe Klein said...

Not one item in Milwaukee County ... Scott Walker did not ask. Don't ask, don't get.

No recent governor has lost an election for "giving it" to Milwaukee.

Perhaps Walker's "giving it" to Milwaukee is just his preparation for being governor.

jpk said...

Disappointing to say the least. Local roads need repair much more than highways need expanding.

Research overwhelmingly shows that local infrastructure improvements have a stronger impact on economic growth than highway investments (see Anthony Downs's Sprawl Costs).

Wonder what rubric Doyle used in selecting spending areas. Surely wasn't economic. Could it be... political!?

Here's to hoping that the stimulus package will bring in $ for municipalities.

James Rowen said...

To TWW:

And highways are 100% subsidized, requiring endless additional dollars for patrol, plowing, maintenance, replacement, etc.

Some bargain.

Rail stimulates commercial development along the routes.

Roads take tax base - - look at the freeway expansion plan. Something above $100 million in lost tax base, with the majority consisting of homes and businesses in Milwaukee County.

Some bargain.