Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Strickland is the real 'cheerleader for failure'

A Google search will show multiple links to the headline "Strickland Lashes Out at Critics of Rail Plan," which is what Governor Ted did two days ago, calling opponents of his plan "cheerleaders for failure."

I don't believe the Governor understands the meaning of the term 'failure' if he really believes what he said.

From the WSPD News website:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is lashing out at critics of the state's plan to use $400 million in federal stimulus money for a startup rail service, calling them ``cheerleaders for failure.''

Strickland said Tuesday he's tired of people who attack every idea that comes along and always look for something negative to say.

The governor says that's not the way to move Ohio forward.
Strickland says other states would have rejoiced to receive $400 million in federal funding.

Just a reminder: this plan that Strickland is so fond of will cost more than $500 million dollars, so getting $400 million from the feds just means the state has to come up with another $100 million or so in order to get it built. Ohio doesn't have that money - at least, not without giving up something already planned in the capital budget.

I've written previously about the operational costs of the rail plan, pointing out that the Governor's own report says the system will cost $29 million a year to operate, but is only projected to have $12 million in revenue - meaning the Ohio taxpayer will have to pay $17 million a year just to run the system once its built.

See that? This rail plan requires the taxpayer to pay nearly 60% of the yearly costs while those who ride it will only have to pay 40%. Do we really want to spend our limited tax revenues on such a boondoggle? Aren't there more important things already being cut out of the state's budget because it doesn't have enough money to break even? And Gov. Strickland thinks this is a good idea?

Talk about failure! I can think of nothing that so qualifies as a massive failure than to rejoice over a system that will cost us so much money to operate.

Obviously, it's not a good idea. But that won't deter a bunch of politicians who've already backed it and begged for money from the federal government (meaning you and me and every other taxpayer) to build a system that won't even come close to breaking even.

So what's a governor to do? Demonize the people who are using logic and reason and sound fiscal analysis by calling them "cheerleaders for failure."

Sadly, the only cheerleader for failure in this instance is Ted Strickland. The rail plan is a fiscal drain on a already tapped-out state. To continue to push it in spite of the financial reality is certainly not the "way to move Ohio forward."

No comments:

Google Analytics Alternative