Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Water Cooler: Scott to Abondon Rail?

From Irreverent View

By Chris Ingram
Rick Scott is on the right track in abandoning rail

Though he hasn’t formally announced a position on the high-speed rail boondoggle between Tampa and Orlando, Governor Rick Scott appears to be heading that way.

Scott’s biggest concern is burdening Florida taxpayers who are already strapped for cash – and with the state facing a $3 billion budget shortfall — with the balance of the funds necessary to start (and complete) the line.
Of course the bigger concern (and the one that gets lost in Congress), is the fact that our country is $14 trillion in debt with no current politically viable solution to get us out of the spending mess that created the problem. Buying cool little toys like bullet trains because they will “create jobs” and “stimulate spending and tourism” are the buzzwords politicians, Chambers of Commerce, and developers like to use to advance their own selfish interests.

What about the interests of the next generation? They’re already holding the piles of debt notes to China, and Saudi Arabia, and by the end of the day the federal debt will grow by another $2 billion just like it does every other day.

America is failing itself and its children because it has no collective, national-sense of obligation to do what is right for the next generation. Elected officials pander to existing constituencies by giving them more entitlements – things like prescription drug benefits (Republicans), and Obamacare (Democrats) all the while passing the bill along to our kids – who have no vote but who will have to pay for all the largess.

Leadership is about making tough and often-times unpopular choices. It’s about giving us what we need, not just what we want. Accepting $2.4 billion to build a choo-choo that is funded by more federal debt held by China may be what we want, but it certainly isn’t what we need. Taking the money just because “it’s there” (and it really isn’t) is not a good reason either.

If enough governors rejected all the pork-like projects Congress sends to the states, we might just get the federal debt under control and stop the hemorrhaging. Of course entitlements are the real budget busters that must be addressed, but cutting pork is equally necessary.

Kudos to Governor Scott for showing leadership on this issue.

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