Gov.-elect Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Gov.-elect John Kasich in Ohio campaigned on pledges to stop passenger-rail projects in their states. On Thursday, they got their wish.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood rescinded nearly $1.2 billion that had been allocated to Wisconsin and Ohio for new train lines. Wisconsin, which received $810 million for a passenger train between Madison and Milwaukee, will have to forfeit the entire amount. Ohio must give up $385 million of the $400 million allocated for a train connecting Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.
The funds will be redirected to train projects in 14 states. California and Florida will receive the largest portions, up to $624 million and $342.3 million, respectively.
After that, Washington is third, getting $161 million. And as unemployment continues to rise in Ohio and Wisconsin, I’m sure they’ll nod dutifully at Glenn Beck as he blames us “coastal elites” for electing “socialists” to office rather than make the connection between stimulus spending and jobs. Meanwhile, we’ll be too busy getting to work on building 21st century infrastructure to care.