[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]
So what happens when a state says to the federal government, “you know what? We don’t want to build this massive transportation project. Instead just keep your money and go away”? Does that money go back into the federal coffers? Does it perhaps translate into lower taxes? Or at the very least, does it mean a reduction of the deficit, and thus a reduction in the rate of increase of our debt?
Oh come on, you know I wouldn’t ask if the answer was the logical and sensible one. What kind of boring post would that be?
That right, at least in the case of recently rejected Ohio and Wisconsin High Speed Rail projects, when the states refused to carry the project forward and politely told the Federal Government to keep its money, the Federal Government responded by… oh, well, let’s let the Times Union explain it:
The nearly $1.2 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail projects that newly elected governors in Ohio and Wisconsin rejected has been redirected to other states, with New York receiving up to $7.3 million of the amount.
The money was redistributed to states in proportion to their initial high-speed rail awards, with California receiving up to $624 million, Florida in line for up to $342.3 million, and Washington State getting up to another $161.5 million.
You got that? Even if a state refuses the money, the Federal Government will just spend the same amount on another state. There are no savings, no reduction in our deficit (that is, the reduction of the rate of increase of our debt). And tax cuts? “F—k the President,” as one unidentified Democrat said reportedly before his party sank Obama’s much ballyhooed tax deal. I guess Obama’s charm offensive didn’t work very well. But with respect to the unidentified congressman, it is we the people who are going to be f—ked.
So think about it from the perspective of the governments of Ohio and Wisconsin. Your citizens are still being taxed. The deficit has gone up as a result of the spending. But you are getting none of the benefit. Am I the only person who thinks that this was designed to incentivize this project? “We might as well take the money, because if we don’t someone else will.”
And consider also the allocation to the other states. I mean, doesn’t that mean that this extra money will definitely be a waste? They were ready to do it cheaper, and the Federal Government said, “nah, here’s some more money. Find something to do with it.”
Really, the more and more I think about it, the more indefensible and infuriating it all is.
Hat Tip: Althouse.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]