Florida’s Rick Scott Pulls The Plug On High Speed Rail.
Florida’s new Governor, Rick Scott turned down the Feds offer of $432 million of Obama’s “winning the future” stimulus funds this week, as announced during the unveiling of his state budget proposal. Governor referred to the project as a recipe for disaster, while facing down the Obama administration as being “addicted to spending.” Florida has followed Wisconsin and Ohio Republican Governors in refusing to accept federal funds that would lead to bloated, expensive additions to deficits that are already at historic highs. Governor Scott was elected to get spending under control, and he appears determined to do just that, with the help of a Republican majority in the Florida House and Senate. That luxury also leaves Scott without any wiggle room, or excuses for not making the cuts necessary to repair Florida’s sluggish economy. His common sense approach is quite refreshing in his latest statements on the cancellation of the high speed rail project.
“I was elected to get Floridians back to work and to change the way government does business in our state.” And Governor Scott explained exactly why he turned down the federal funds; “Capital cost overruns that could put Florida taxpayers on the hook for an additional $3 billion,” “overly optimistic” ridership and revenue projections, and $2.4 billion owed to the feds if the project “becomes too costly for taxpayers and is shut down.”
There is that same catch that caused Governor Christie to stop the New Jersey to New York high speed rail project. The truth is that they failed to do any true Life-Cycle budget and revenue projections for proper cost analysis. Add to that the fact that when it becomes proven to be too expensive to complete, the taxpayers would still be on the hook for $2.4 Billion dollars and this truly had all the makings of a disaster! Thank you Governor Scott, I sure am glad I voted for you, instead of high-speed-rail-at-any-cost, Democrat Alex Sink!
Governor Scott is a realist when it comes to Florida’s revenue, and also sums up a fact that the federal Government needs to be reminded of when he said, “Government has no resources of its own. Government can only give to us what it has previously taken from us… Higher taxes and more government spending is a recipe for disaster. Government has become addicted to spending beyond its means and we cannot continue this flawed policy.” The fact that this was still being pushed onto the backs of Floridians, even though we voted down a tax to help pay for this project just last year, is very indicative on just how out of touch our Governments have become today. What part of “No high-speed rail” do you people not understand? Apparently, we still have some further house-cleaning to do in our State legislature in 2012. Those names will be duly noted and published, as we get closer to the 2012 elections. We the people of Florida, and across America are tired of being ignored, and being told that career politicians know better than we do on how to spend OUR tax dollars.