Friday, February 18, 2011

Politics as usual

I got this in my email yesterday

February 17, 2011

Dear Elizabeth,

A bipartisan group of the state's political and business leaders have pursued high-speed rail in Florida for decades, because it means more than $2.4 billion in economic
aid, thousands of construction jobs and a modern transportation link between several of the state’s largest cities. That’s why I support it. I’m joined by state lawmakers and many members of Florida's congressional delegation, who also question the governor’s decision to kill high-speed rail. One is U.S. Rep. John Mica, the Winter Park Republican who chairs the House Transportation Committee. Also, federal transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican, has expressed disappointment. If Florida doesn’t take the money, another state will. So, some of us will look for ways to save the rail project. Meantime, please don’t hesitate to pass along your thoughts.


Well... as the email said. Here are my thoughts to pass along.

The thing that caught my attention was this sentence. "If Florida doesn’t take the money, another state will."

I was on board with the idea until I saw that. This sounds like something my kids would say. "My belly hurts from eating too much cake, but if I don't take the last piece then Mom will give it to my sister." This is horrible logic. We, as adults should not make decisions based on the possibility of someone else getting more. This fairness attitude has permeated our society. Life is not fair. What if another state has a project that will better serve the people. Being grasping and greedy is not good for anyone.

Another thing I pondered was this idea of money. Where did the email say the money was coming from? Oh yeah... the federal government. Wait... now I'm confused. I thought the federal government was out of money. This is why they've been borrowing from other countries, right? So if they don't have any more money, then how can they possibly fund a new transportation system in Florida, or for that matter, anywhere else in the USA?

This needs to stop. I'm all for the idea of building a high speed railway system. I'm all for using government money for things... I just want the government to use it's own money for things. Perhaps when our federal budget balances, then we can talk about things like high speed trains.

So there it is in a nutshell. I'm all for improving transportation and creating jobs. I'm not on board with the idea of getting deeper and deeper in debt by using imaginary money that is supposedly coming from Washington. The sooner we get it in our heads that our country needs to get out of debt, the sooner we will be able to go forward as a society.

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