I have GOT to stop reading the front page of the paper and the front page of yahoo, google, bing and all the others.
Today’s fiasco begins with Vice President Joe Biden announcing that he wants to spend $53 BILLION dollars on a new high-speed railroad network and, also, improve old railroad lines.
To me, this is a good idea. It will provide jobs in a country that’s in desperate need of them, and make traveling cheaper and easier as well as providing commuter networks for those who have longer commutes than most. It will save energy and help us compete with Japan and other countries that already have a high-speed railroad system in place.
This is where the irony and fiasco come together.
The new governor of Ohio, John Kasich, just GAVE AWAY $400 MILLION dollars of railroad money to Florida, California and New York. Why? Because he thinks railroads are dumb.
Ohio was supposed to use this money to build a high-speed railroad line between Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland, with stops at many smaller cities and towns along the way. It would enable people who drive long distances to work to take the train instead. (No, not like Amtrak) It would enable people who don’t, or can’t drive, to travel, as well. It would link the state together to make travel easier for a lot of people since this is, according to the Ohio Dept. of Transportation, “the Midwest’s busiest travel corridor between metropolitan areas.” And, perhaps, cut down on car accidents.
Not a bad idea. It would save gas, time and the aggravation of driving for an hour or more one way. No more heart attacks or road rage while commuting to work. Just sitting and reading a newspaper and watching the scenery go by. Nice.
It would make taking a vacation easier and a little cheaper, as well. No more “when are we gonna get there?” from the kids. No more having to make 300 potty stops in 20 miles. Take the family for a train ride, talk about something novel for the kids to write about for their summer vacation paper!
But, nope, Kasich thinks it’s a bad idea and deprives the state not only of an interstate high-speed railway system, but the construction, railroad and permanent jobs that go along with such a massive construction and refurbishing job.
For a man who campaigned on bringing jobs to Ohio, he certainly blew it. Putting in this rail system would generate roughly a quarter of a million to a million jobs in the state. It wouldn’t just be construction workers or railroad people needed. It would be all the suppliers of wood, steel, gravel, heavy machinery, porta-pots and more. It’s a trickle down theory that could have worked for the people of Ohio and Kasich thinks it isn’t worth it.
It would draw companies to Ohio and, most likely, keep our young people from leaving the state for greener pastures because the green would be here. It would mean that companies, both large and small that are already here, could hire one or more people…….again that old trickle down theory comes into play. It means that employed people spend more money at various businesses during the week and pay taxes……and can pay their bills and mortgages. And Kasich thinks it isn’t worth it.
He’d rather use the money to improve the railroads for freight and the state’s roads, instead. Improving the roads is a good idea but we have to think long-term. With oil and gas prices going up as fast as they are, we need a form of high-speed mass transit that will save resources as well as money and provide jobs for the people of Ohio.