Monday, February 21, 2011

Marcy Kaptur joins the train cult

Good grief, what is with these Democrats and trains?  Now Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur thinks taxpayers should build a new choo-choo train in Ohio.
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur still wants a high-speed train along the Lake Erie shore, connecting cities like Cleveland, Sandusky, Toledo and Detroit.

And she's convinced the Obama administration will help make it happen -- if it can.

A few days ago, Kaptur and other members of northern Ohio's Congressional delegation met with Ray LaHood -- President Obama's cabinet secretary of transportation -- to talk about trains.

Hood is "very enthusiastic" about high-speed rail, Kaptur said.
Sigh.  Let me repeat what I said months ago about Ted Strickland's 39-mph magic railroad to prosperity. Not enough people are going to ride it.

Thankfully, Gov. Kasich killed the 3C boondoggle because it would have cost Ohio millions in a time where we need to cut spending.  Other governors in Wisconsin and Florida also turned down the "free" federal money, knowing that their states would end up holding the bag of cost overruns and annual subsidies.  That project didn't make financial sense for Ohio, and either would this one.

Driving will always be cheaper.  The Buckeye Institute found that even if you are driving a gas guzzling Ford F-150, gas would have to cost over $5.00/gallon for the cost of driving to be more than the 3C train.  For the average car, it would have to be more like $10/gallon.  And that's assuming only one person in the car.  If you are traveling with someone else, they obviously also need a ticket, thus doubling the cost.  Not so in your car.  The extra passenger, or two or three, ride free.  Therefore, ridership will be low.

History shows that passenger rail service in America will always require subsidies to keep them afloat.  In 1970 when Amtrak was created, the thought was that it would eventually become self-sufficient and no longer require tax payer dollars.  We all know how that turned out.  Amtrak consumes billions of our tax dollars every year.

Proponents don't even pretend that the systems would be self sufficient anymore.  Ted's proposal still had the Ohio taxpayer paying over $12 million to keep the line afloat.  It's a bad investment.

Of course, Marcy, who is my congresswoman, probably knows all of this, and doesn't care.  Notice where she wants the rail built this time?  At least Ted Strickland wanted to connect Ohio's largest 3 cities with the project.  Kaptur wants it running along the Lake Erie shore, which would put it almost entirely in her district.  In other words, its a great big steaming pile of pork.

We need to stop these ridiculous Euro-liberal feel-good projects before they put both our federal AND our state budgets in more jeopardy.

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