Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another $1 Billion For a Highway Lane; Watch Conservatives Go Silent

Will the GOP politicians Mark Neumann and Scott Walker, and their allied talk radio hosts squawking about $810 million for a high-speed train between Madison and Milwaukee, along with improvements between Milwaukee and Chicago, also sound off about this plan to add lanes to Interstate 39/90 between Madison and the Illinois border - - for $1 billion?

A billion here, a billion there...

Right now the state is committed to spend $1.9 billion for repaving and adding new lanes between Milwaukee and the Illinois border on I-94, and the Zoo Interchange project involving I-94, I-894 and State Highway 45 is projected at $2.31 billion.

And longer-term, there are improvements, so-called, along with new lanes, across the rest of the seven-county Southeast region that will cost at least another $1.5 billion, as there are major stretches of I-43 and I-94 as far as Walworth, Ozaukee and Western Waukesha Counties waiting for their dollop of fresh concrete.

Unless I am mistaken, the rail line is budgeted, I-94 between Milwaukee and Chicago is a seven-to-eight year effort that is partially-funded, and the Zoo Interchange plan - - the historic budget-buster, plus now this new Madison-Illinois proposal and the rest of the SE corridor work are not funded.

My guess is that the Republican candidates and the talkers will rationalize any and all additional highway work, as these power brokers are part of the road-builder/government complex that rules the state's economy as intentionally and effectively as the military/industrial complex grips the our national budge and foreign policy.

The Tea Partiers will fall silent on this one, too. They have their own political correctness to mind and calibrate, too.

You'd think we'd have all caught on by now to this repetitive political and spending scam: build a road, repair it, add a lane, get right with the pols, raise registration and licensing fees (perhaps the gas tax? Tolls?)...add a lane, repair it, stay tight with both parties...bring forward another 20-30-year highway plan, and off you go, still calling yourselves fiscal conservatives.

Proving it by swatting down rail options.

We can't afford that.


Anonymous said...

What you don't comprehend Rowen is that a majority of people actually use these evil highways on an almost daily basis.

So why would they mind spending money on maintaining and improving them?

We are in theory paying for it anyways thru taxes, other than the billions Doyle stole from the transportation fund.

James Rowen said...

I use the highways, too.

What I don't like is that there has been collusion for a long time between politicians, road-builders, gasoline companies and auto,akers - - and sure, the Teamsters and others - - to limit our choices to what enriches them.

Look at the success of Amtrak from Milwaukee to Chicago. Standing-room only.

This is because not everyone drives, or drives all the time. And because people like alternatives, and we shouldn't have to accept what a monopolistic combine via the government gives us.

You should read the history of the collusion, conspiracy and criminal charges that resulted from the secret plan by GM, Firestone and Standard Oil to buy up and shut down city rail in favor of bus lines all across the country.

This went on during the 40's and 50's.

It's fine to love and use the roads, but dig a little deeper into how we got to where we are.

You can find some of that on this blog in the search box if you input GM, or go to Google.

Anonymous said...

So why is Tom Barrett for this boondoggle?