Viewpoint: Wrong time for high speed rail push
I write this with a heavy heart; it appears the barn door is open and the horse is running free.
High speed rail is coming? My mayor (Bill Hargis) recently attended a forum in Oakdale with the usual suspects: a politician, a developer, an attorney and the government.
They all agreed that high speed rail from St. Paul to Chicago is now the second coming. Even better than sliced bread.
They professed glowing statements regarding how necessary and beneficial high speed rail would be to our community and our economy. I find no specifics or proofs to support their statements. Where will these 1,570 new permanent jobs come from? How is this 2.3 billion dollars of benefits created?
Hargis (the politician) states that high speed rail will take us to Chicago in 5 hours. How is that possible at 80/90 mph with the proposed four to five stops in between?
Another new buzz word, shovel ready, really needs to be expanded on, as it seems necessary in obtaining federal funding. News flash: the feds have no funds, it's taxpayer money.
Rick Collins (the developer) seems to think that high speed rail is an answer to getting corporations to relocate here. News flash: we already have a train to Chicago and that relocation thing doesn't seem to be working very well. Jay Lindgren (the attorney) did admit that more public money, as in more taxes, will be necessary to pull this off. Monte Hilleman from the St. Paul Port Authority (the government) said his focus is on feedback from the people. Now there's a stand-up statement.
Also someone should have to explain how the Lafayette Bridge and new bike trails got included in this. These people have to get real. There is no need or public demand for this expenditure, especially now in this economy. We as a nation are spending ourselves into oblivion. Well over 50 percent of our national debt is owed to foreign nations.
If they ever decide to cash in it would be ruinous to our economy and our nation.
Our government has to change the way they do things. They can no longer try to be everything to everybody. They subsidize or regulate endless activities and lifestyles that should be left to market forces.
We have no money we are broke. Now is not the time for pie in the sky expenditures like high speed rail.
Penas is a Woodbury resident.