Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where Florida's High Speed Rail Money Went

Gov. Rick Scott made the false claim that he refusal to take federal funding for high speed rail helped prevented a shutdown.

The rail project from Tampa to Orlando could have created 48,800 direct and indirect jobs from the construction of the project. Scott dismissed that as saying the jobs would be temporary. However, all construction jobs last only until the project is finished. 1,100 permanent jobs would be created once the rail line was completed. For a state with a 10.7 unemployment rate, killing the high speed rail project was incredibly stupid.

Scott showed either ignorance by stating he refused the funding so it wouldn't add to the federal deficit. The problem with Scott's statement was that the funding was already appropriated. $449.94 million of the money that was to be used for the construction of the Tampa to Orlando line is now being used for the Amtrak Northeast Corridor. $400 million is being diverted to the repair and construction of Mideast rail lines. $300 million will help build a high speed line in California.

Scott turned down federal rail money on the claim that he helped stop the government shutdown because the funds would never be spent. The high speed rail money is being spent. I wonder what does Scott have to say now?

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