Even Republicans are Angry Rick Scott Declined High-Speed Rail Funds

Categories: Politicks
ellephantran.jpg
Even some Elephants prefer to travel by train.
Rick Scott's decision to decline $2.4 billion in federal funds to build a state-of-the-art high-speed rail system in Florida continues to draw anger, ire and confusion today even from many Republicans. Today, a veto-proof majority of 26 state senators wrote a letter rebuking Scott's decision, while even former Republican Governor Jeb Bush seems confused by the decision.

Scott's decision appears to be steeped in Tea Party ideology. The decision came just weeks after he met with two seemingly random Tea Party "leaders" from Tampa who urged him to kill the plan, and the studies he cited in his decision come from a study conducted by a Libertarian think tank. Scott says he's worried that the state Government may be saddled with paying for overrun and maintenance costs associated with the project.

Though, even his fellow Republicans seem puzzled over the logic and ultimate decision made by the political neophyte.

Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican who chairs the U.S. House's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, says that Scott's decision "defies logic."

Jeb Bush, perhaps still the most influential Republican in the state, is even having a hard time understanding Scott's decision telling PolitiJax, "I'm surprised he didn't let the process go to a conclusion...before pulling the plug."

And today a bipartisan group of 26 state senators (or nearly two thirds of the Republican-controlled body) signed a letter rebuking Scott's decision.

"Politics should have no place in the future of Florida's transportation, as evidenced by this letter of bipartisan support," the legislators wrote. "This project would create real jobs, cleaner and smarter transportation, and true economic development for Floridians."

The letter was signed by 14 Republican Senators including Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and Rene Garcia of Miami-Dade.

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24 comments
Lisas
Lisas

So, he's a betting man, betting that the cards will fold and somehow, the state in the near future, might have to come up with more money,, thats MIGHT, on the rail project but how many jobs would have been created for the time period? 30,000? And, he could have the Miami port dredging done anyways because that is State funding. And how many jobs does he project for that? 24,000. So, WE could of had JOBS for the high speed rail And the Miami port project. for a total of 54,000 jobs created in Florida, when everyone is needing employment........... hmmmmmmm..... First major Bad Move for Mr. Scott He's making Florida into the servant state..... No healthcare, no employment. Cut School funding, cut state funding, cut police, fire , etc etc.. drop environmental controls.. ok.. we're done...as a state..

danglines
danglines

This high speed rail system has a very significant future to develop a very large economic corridor between major cities. Only greedy idiots and publicans, living in the past want, want to stop it. It's an idea whose time is here. I works very well in Europe. Only the greedy oil companies would be against it's implementation.

Gill Man
Gill Man

I can't stand Rick Scott, but I have always thought that the Florida HSR plan was not really viable and will be a huge loss maker. It's not that I'm against mass transit or anything, but it's kind of a chicken and egg theory. In other words, that money would have been far better spent investing in urban rail projects in Florida's big cities, especially Miami and Orlando and such investment would have been far more lucrative and far more useful, in terms of getting cars off the road and providing a good infrastructure. Once Florida's cities have good mass transit, then we can talk about connecting the cities with high speed rail, but we're trying to run before we can walk.

bacalove
bacalove

GOP will put up every obstacle to stop job production so that Pres. Obama will look like a failure. However, this hurts all Ameicans. To refuse the production of high-speed rail, when lawmakers know that by 2030 we will have reached the beginning of the of the oil peak, age amounts to a national security issue.

And, why is it that Democrats, and most countries (China, Japan, etc.) Revere their teachers while Republicans think of them as second class and somsone to be feared as to puting to much knowledge and intelligence in the heads of their charges? I guess they realize that an intellligent populace cannot be controlled. Hello Egypt!

The Great Income Divide! Who controls the wealth in the United States and why?

http://tinyurl.com/474czzp

John Dough
John Dough

Here's a scenario for all of you to ponder:

Suppose...just suppose...the Florida money does go to California and other states that fail to see the future as clearly as Walker, Kasich, Cristie and Scott.

Then suppose the grownups that have just taken over the US House of Representatives get their act together and kill all future funding for HSR.

How do you all suppose CA and the others are going to complete their boondoggles?

Florida may have just dodged a bullet, thanks to Gov. Scott.

HSR cannot survive budget cuts that are coming. It is the low hanging fruit of waste elimination.

evantis121
evantis121

This tea party fanaticism sweeping red states cutting worthwhile infrastructure investment projects will do them no favors when other states projects start hiring workers and money starts flooding in. Its unfortunate for Floridians that they will take longer to crawl out of this recession now Rick Scott has shown such poor leadership.

outofworksurveyor
outofworksurveyor

would anyone like to know why i am commenting on this at 10 am instead of at my job working to feed my family? its because i dont have a job as of yesterday..... me and 16 other land surveyors got laid off yesterday at mehta and associates. we were out of orlando and had been working on the HSR for the last 4 months.

when they called us in yesterday they told us losing our jobs was a direct consequence of rick scott's actions and that an estimated 10,000 current jobs were lost from daytona to tampa along the i4 corridor and that an estimated 30,000 more will be lost in the future because of his decision.

i think this is insane....our state was barely just starting to recover from the bush regimes raping of the economy and now we got our own local job nazi who thinks killing 40,000 jobs in a single pen stroke is a good idea.

wrap your brain around this, if 50% of the 10,000 jobs already lost go on unemployment, thats 5,000 people taxpayers instantly foot the bill for... then 50% of the 30,000 future jobs, 15,000 thousand more people taxpayers are now footing the bill for......

congrats rick scott, you have officially set florida back 20 years in one week....

DRB3
DRB3

Governor Rick Scott concluded this project was a money loser and decided not to go ahead with it! Common sense plain and simple! I already love his no nonsense, business approach to evaluation of projects and hope we see MUCH more of the same during his term. To the ridiculous claim "if we don't take the money another state will", I say LET THEM! I would prefer Florida to be a leader when it comes to fiscal responsibility not a follower that contributes to our nation's financial problems. Way to go Governor Scott!

BobW
BobW

There are people all over the world who would love to go to the best airport and vacation spots. Most of the motels have vans that run to all the attractions. The sad thing about this is we will still pay for this if the money goes to another state.

Austin E Alexander
Austin E Alexander

@ it starts at home you have laid out a fantastic analysis of Scott's desicion. Scott is a gutsy and independent thinker. He obviously recognizes the fiscal crisis the state is in and the fact that projects like this are the place for the private sector. If this rail makes economic sense let someone build it but don't force me and my future grandchildren to pay for it. This state and this nation are flat broke. WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THIS!!!

I was originally skeptical of Scott's claim to be an "outsider" but killing this boondoggle is yet another sign that he is serious about putting Florida's finacial stability above easy political cop-outs. THANK YOU RICK SCOTT!!!

Bobking
Bobking

The voters of Floriduh are the real morons for picking a complete imbecile like Scott to be governor. Now we are sentenced to 4 more years of this jerk!

nakedamerican
nakedamerican

Yes, completely idiotic politically motivated move by Gov. Scott. Florida has elected a moron for govenor. Building high speed rail is a no brainer. The fact that even Jeb Bush (who killed high speed rail in FL a few years ago) is puzzled over this should speak volumes.

Creates thousands of jobs.Will save gas and the environment for people that use it.Creates commerce between connected cities.90% of the funds are already allocated. Let's do this!

It starts at home
It starts at home

I know we all love the hype that goes with high speed rail. Yes, I voted for it. Yes, I think it’s sexy and ultra cool. Yes, I lived in the northeast and LOVE the idea of never having to get into my car.

BUT … everybody wants to cut the deficit, cut taxes, etc. but nobody wants it to come from their backyard … makes it impossible to actually accomplish anything that way, doesn’t it?!?

Scott’s move was one of the gutsiest political moves I’ve seen. In one fell swoop, he eliminated major cost overruns that were bound to happen, stirred up debate on how to accomplish the same thing in the private sector without tax dollars, and immediately contributed 3% of the House’s goal of cutting $100 billion without letting lobbyists sneak their way into the conversation! Of course mainstream politicians hate it.

How about this … the downpayment alone for high speed rail was $3 BILLION. 79 MPH Signal track costs $2-3 MILLION per mile (assuming we don’t use any existing track). It’s about 85 miles between Tampa and Orlando. Even at the high end that is about $250 million for 79MPH track … less than 10% of what was just the downpayment for high speed rail! And it will create just as many local jobs (all the high speed rail contenders are foreign - the track requires about the same amount of labor either way). OK, it will increase transit time by maybe a half hour – I’d still ride it.

Only when our leaders start thinking like entrepreneurs will we start to actually have a government that makes sense. I applaud Governor Scott's move.

And BTW, I'm a registered democrat - just one who understands the intersection of economic theory and reality.

PT
PT

"Politics should have no place in the future of Florida's transportation, as evidenced by this letter of bipartisan support," the legislators wrote.

This is exactly why the government should not be funding this rail system.

Finleygravelly
Finleygravelly

dumb dumb. This is what you get when you put those dumb tea party people in officeWe have more than 12% unemployment in florida and he also rejected money to help with healthcare reform in this state. He has no other plans to help the middle class. I am suprise he refused any money that he could get his hands on like medicare or medicare. If you know what I mean

Leerogers
Leerogers

Your state studied hsr for twenty years and decided after endless study that its viable. DAMN shame Ohio, Wisconsin, new jersey and Florida all have governors with the same mindset or masters. Transportation fuels commerce, its what brought the vast expanse of this country closer. Now the kids are running the show and too weak knee to do something that brings in the cash. The last businessman in Florida to build rail transportation was Henry Flagler. He had guts and spent his own money on a dream of rail over the ocean to the keys. There are no entrepreneurial dreamers like that today. Some politicians do dream big, but need the people to believe in the project and themselves. Hell, the most we can get done is a football stadium, while Europe builds 36 mile long train tunnels through the Swiss alps and China builds the fastest train on earth. Yea, go ahead save a dime today and miss millions tomorrow.

evantis121
evantis121

fiscal responsibility or short sighted stupidity? I'd say the latter.

pbpointman
pbpointman

@Austin E Alexander Your tax dollars are still going to the HSR project. You have already paid for it. The check has already been written.  The HSR will still be built. Just now the money will go to help another state. Your state wont see any benefit.
So your tax dollars are now leaving the state.  
Your tax dollar are going to help someone else when it could have stayed here and helped you and your state. 
This is why conservatives are dumb and I can't wait for them all to die off from old age.

Pissedinflorida
Pissedinflorida

Your an idiot. You if you don't live in Florida you don't know how hard finding a job is and Scott is a damn crook!!!

Who?!
Who?!

You don't understand a GODDAM thing! The intersection of economy and reality obviously skips the vicinity of tour neighborhood. It's easy to tally up figures on a proposed plan. Anybody could do that. Have you also tallied up lost jobs? Have you realized that this was a budgeted project, with federal subsidies?! But Mr. Economics here probably voted yes on that despicable project they call the new Marlins Stadium. How many Billions of dollars is it costing us, the tax payers? And how many billions more do they want for the renovation of the dolphin's stadium. All small examples, but blatant politically backed FUCK-UPS nonetheless. You understand nothing of the federal budget.

bacalove
bacalove

Most legislators know that by 2030 we will have reached the beginning of the end of Oil Production in Saudia Arabia and that we will seriously be running out of oil -- so hence the need for high-speed rail and eclectric cars! Hellooooo!

GOP will put up every obstacle to stop job production so that Pres. Obama will look like a failure. However, this hurts all Ameicans.

Why is it that Democrats, and most countries (China, Japan, etc.) Revere their teachers while Republicans think of them as second class and somsone to be feared as to puting to much knowledge and intelligence in the heads of their charges? I guess they realize that an intellligent populace cannot be controlled. Hello Egypt!

The Great Income Divide! Who controls the wealth in the United States and why?

http://tinyurl.com/474czzp

evantis121
evantis121

Scott is a wuss and in one fell swoop lost Florida its biggest opportunity to show the world its not just a place where old people come to die.

ElCapitanAmerica
ElCapitanAmerica

"it starts at home"

"and immediately contributed 3% of the House’s goal of cutting $100 billion without letting lobbyists sneak their way into the conversation! Of course mainstream politicians hate it. "

He didn't contribute 3% of anything. What he did was guarantee that the money, which comes from federal taxes we pay, gets spent in another state instead of Florida.

The governor of Florida is supposed to look out for the state of Florida, somehow he forgot what his job is. In some strange way, it seems he is getting delusional enough to think he has a chance at national politics.

JackC
JackC

We here in California salutes Scott for possibly diverting $2B our way.

Btw, why is federal funding for HSR a boondoggle, and funding for the highway system an investment? At least people pay to use the HSR. Our current gas/vehicle/license tax barely covers 1/2 the cost to maintain our highway system, that's probably the biggest boondoggle.

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