A Republican candidate for governor says there are a lot of unanswered questions about high speed rail. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker asks who will ride the high speed line linking Milwaukee and Madison. “Right now, without one penny of taxpayer dollars, the Badger Bus already goes between Milwaukee and Madison,” Walker notes.
Walker says he’s had concerns, ever since Governor Jim Doyle and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced $810-million dollars in federal funding for high speed rail in Wisconsin. “Anywhere else we’ve seen the dollar costs as much higher than they’ve projected here,” Walker says. “Who’s going to foot that cost? It’s probably going to be state taxpayers. I don’t like that.”
Walker, who says the federal government has acknowledged Wisconsin’s high speed rail will create a mere 55 jobs, insists he’d look at suspending the project if he’s elected. “The analogy I give, is it’s kind of like being on a diet. If you fall of the diet for a day and you eat a donut, that doesn’t mean you should eat the whole rest of the box of donuts,” Walker says, adding that “the only thing high speed” about the project is that Governor Jim Doyle and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett are pushing to get it done before the next governor takes office. “That’s more than fourteen and a half million dollars per job,” says Walker. “I think anybody on the street could better use that money.”