What is more important: Jobs or politics?

United States
November 12, 2010 11:43am CST
There are three republicans governors who are are either holding up, or have promised to hold up work on high speed rail projects in this country. One of which, isn't even governor yet, and is warning the current governor that he is going to stop the project before it gets off the ground. The battle is over money coming from Washington to build new high speed rail lines in Ohio, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. These projects will create thousands of jobs, and save millions of barrels of oil. But, conservative republicans don't want to take the money from Washington because they feel it is pork barrel spending, and are afraid that the voters will remember this come election time. So my question is; Would you rather have more jobs and lower unemployment, or would your rather have a two term governor, and higher unemployment?
1 person likes this
8 responses
@stanley777 (7177)
• Philippines
13 Nov 10
for me I would choose jobs, because this will support family needs.More jobs means more taxes that the government would collect, more infrastructure to build and more projects to materialize that would benefit the country and its people.
• United States
13 Nov 10
Stop making sense. We won't have any of that around here, what do you think you are doing? It his politics, there is no making sense allowed!!!
• Philippines
13 Nov 10
In my opinion politics is always present. So long as there is self interest it can never be done away with. The real question is how can one pursue the greater good which is the end goal of public service despite self interest. This is the challenge that all public servants must come to terms with.
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
13 Nov 10
These are beneficial projects that will lead to permanent jobs for many but Lil touched on a good point, which is what the state's share will be. When I worked for a local shortline down here we had a major rail upgrade project that was financed in part by the Feds and in part by the state. Maybe these governors are unwilling or unable to use state funds for their share. I don't know enough of the details but I do know that rail transportation uses less fuel than over the road transportation and does reduce congestion. The jobs created would pay well since these will have to be FRA rated positions.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Nov 10
Spalladino, this is an infrastructure project so funding is much easier to get for the states, and in many cases is less than what the government is putting in. One of the other aspects of this is that steel prices are much lower than they were before, making projects like this much more economical. If the states don't use the money, than other states can apply for that money to improve their rail system. These trains will help improve transportation around the state of Ohio which has two of the most traveled areas in the country in it. We can use all of the help we can get.
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
13 Nov 10
I'm (obviously) a big supporter of rail transportation for many reasons. I don't recall off the top of my head how many big rigs one rail car can take off the highways but moving freight by rail has many benefits. The same goes for moving people.
• Indonesia
13 Nov 10
For me, job is far more important. It is the only key to eradicate poverty and unemployment. While politics is so nasty. So many thugs, hypocrites, liars, swinging around in the government. They rule the country, that's the most terrible thing. They even can't create good jobs for the society. They can only speak and speak. It is hard to find a good job. As difficult as finding a good and honest politician.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Nov 10
I must say that I think it is much easier to find a good job than a good politician. At least there are good jobs still out there, I haven't seen a good politician in a long time.
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
14 Nov 10
I understand that Ohio is the new Republican governor former Congressmen John Kasich, New Jersey has Republican Chris Cristie but doesn't Wisconsin have Democratic Jim Doyle? Maybe I am wrong so I will carry on as if I am. Most Republican lawmakers have an allergic reaction to anything like high speed rail lines, it's to environment for their taste. Granted it is pork barrel spending so they want to take the moral high ground like when then Governor Palin demonized the bridge to no where saying that if Alaska wanted the bridge built the state of Alaska would have paid for it themselves. Got off subject a bit there but anyways the money has already been allocated for spending. It's not like this is new spending which they might say that they don't want to be responsible for more debt. This money is going to be spent. This is like to receiving lottery money because you morally oppose gambling. Just build the rails and be done with it.
1 person likes this
@RobtheRock (2485)
• United States
12 Nov 10
President Obama wants the high speed train service to reduce "traffic congestion, cut dependence on foreign oil and improve the environment." It would give us many jobs and reminds me of the fifties and sixties when my grandfather worked on the railroad. The incoming governor of Ohio wants to use the money for something else and Obama said, "no" which is good. Our line would go from Cincinnati to Columbus and split up towards Toledo to Michigan and towards Cleveland to Buffalo. It looks like Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania would be included. With the price of gas going up every now and then, some folks would welcome it. I see that Ohio has been working on this "hub plan" ten years ago. http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/06/highspeed_rail_line_for_ohio_g.html Yet there are those who fight President Obama no matter what he does. Kasich wants to use the money for something else, yet never said what that "something else" would be. All he did was say he would do something to help reduce the federal deficity, but offered no suggestions and most of the Ohioans who voted for him, fell for it. It looks to me like many of these folks who voted against Obama, actually thought politics was more important than jobs.
• United States
13 Nov 10
You still haven't asked the hard questions. How many people will use this line regularly? Will it be enough funds to cover the cost of maintenance, the number of employees and insurance? Is it economically feasible to invest in such a project or is it going to be a huge money pit? What happens with cost overruns? Who gets saddled with the bill when construction runs into major problems? How long will it take to actually build? (Some road projects have been going on 20+ years.) How long will the state have to pay into it before it becomes profitable? Will it even be a relevant form of transportation by the time it is profitable? But the biggest question of all. Can the State afford to pay for it when they can't even pay for Medicaid, mental illness programs, Schools, their share of Medicare, and about a thousand other budget items that are priority? If the economy wasn't in the toilet, inflation in the near future, and the States weren't bleeding red at every corner, then maybe, it might be worth considering. Actually the opposite is true. President Obama has placed politics in front of jobs. The evidence of this is staring everyone in the face. If he really wanted to create jobs, he would make it easier for businesses to predict their future. Instead, it is the economic uncertainty that is killing jobs. (Will there or will there not the Bush tax cuts be extended? How's health care costs going to affect my business? Why aren't banks loaning me money to expand? Those are just a few questions job creators are asking.)
• United States
13 Nov 10
Rob, I live in Toledo, and although we aren't part of the 3 C project, they are talking about including us in another line. I did not vote for that idiot, and I have no idea why anyone would. I can't wait to see how he does some of the things he promised, and it wouldn't surprise me if he doesn't even make it through this term without being removed. We just had our first intermodel constructed, and has yet to be fully finished. It is a monster of physicality that will change truck traffic dramatically. With high speed trains it will allow for products to flow on these trains in times that we have never seen, and will increase productivity in our area beyond any ones dreams.
• United States
13 Nov 10
Sierras, you make many good points, and that is why there is a study that is done before they move forward with this. But, John Kasich doesn't want the study done. He feels that he knows what the people of Ohio want, and this isn't it. However, many in Ohio feel that the jobs are more important than the politics, of NO. Even if the rail line isn't used for passengers it can be used to haul freight, which could be sold to outside companies like a CSX. You are correct that economic uncertainty is hurting jobs, but the president can only do so much, he offered to extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone but the ultra rich, and the republicans said NO. He offered to insert tax breaks that every economist said would spur sending, and republicans said NO. All because they didn't want to give him a victory heading into an election. If you disagree, than please explain to me why republicans couldn't allow the tax break for 100% appreciation? If the Bush tax breaks are so important to job creation, please show me how many jobs they have created in the last two years? EVERY economist has said they can't find ANY jobs created by these tax cuts in the last two years. Health care cost have been going up for 20 years, and we had the best economy the country has ever seen in the late 90's with rising health care costs. Banks aren't loaning money because they don't have to to make money. Would you like the government to step in and make them? Do you want big government or small government? You can't have it both ways!!!
• United States
12 Nov 10
Money from the feds ALWAYS come with strings attached. What are the strings? Usually the feds pay part and then the state has to fit the rest of the bill. Are we in an issues of the state not having to money to foot their part of the bill for these projects? Or are they scared of "where is this money coming from"? Poeple wondering where the money is coming from as in "is this adding to our debt"? If so they need to come out and explain it to the American people. Explain were it is coming from and what it will do. People are not stupid. Just explain the facts and then let the people decide if they want it. Honestly with the unemployement rate the way it is I would think people would jump on the jobs. But honestly...these are temp jobs so it is not going to long term solve our employement issues.
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
12 Nov 10
"Usually the feds pay part and then the state has to fit the rest of the bill." That's EXACTLY what it is. The majority of the states are currently running deficits and funding, even in part, new projects will only make their deficits worse. Also factor in that the Feds involvement typically ends at construction. After that it's the state's job to staff and maintain these trains which are notorious for losing money and being unable to make a profit.
• United States
12 Nov 10
These are not temp jobs. Back in the fifties and sixties, railroad jobs paid more than the automobile jobs. The states would have to match what the government pays, yet the states would own the railroads.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Nov 10
Lil, you are correct that the states do need to put money in as well, but this is also money that goes into infrastructure, so there are more ways to finance this than using the general fund. If the states don't use the money it doesn't go back to the US government, it can actually be used by other states, as New York as already offered to take the money that our new idiot governor doesn't want. These won't all be temp jobs, and as far as I am concerned, any job is better than no jobs isn't it? Was that what the voters are saying right now? Or, seeing how the election is over have republicans gone right back to ignoring the voters till the next election?
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
12 Nov 10
I wonder how the projects will be funded when the fed money runs out. Also, isnt that pork barrel spending what most of us want stopped? So these Republicans are putting action to this. Also, these kind of projects are not always what the residents there want, is this a majority?
• United States
13 Nov 10
Laglen, the fed money doesn't run out, it is sent to the state when they provide funding, or show that they can fund it. This isn't pork barrel spending, this project will help improve movement of people and products, and make our highways safer. Republicans are not happy because it came from Obama, if Bush would have presented this program (though we all know he wouldn't have the ability to think ahead) they would have supported it 100%. The majority of the people in the state of Ohio like the idea, it is just a matter of making it happen.
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@laglen (19782)
• United States
13 Nov 10
ok, I am a little confused, if you could please clear this up. the fed money doesn't run out, it is sent to the state when they provide funding, Is this fed money or state? who will keep paying the upkeep? can this state determine that it will have the ongoing funds to sustain?
• United States
13 Nov 10
Laglen, Both the state, and the Feds are funding the project, but both HAVE to provide funds. The upkeep is usually paid by the state, but the government can provide funding for certain projects. There is a study that the state has to do to prove that it will work. John Kasich doesn't want this study done because he knows that he won't approve the project. Even if the study would help private corporations see that this is a good idea. Kasich is so busy making sure his wall street buddies can make as much money as possible in state jobs, and making sure that they can get bonus that no one knows about. This guy is about the biggest joke the state of Ohio has produced EVER!!!
• United States
13 Nov 10
I've constantly been hearing New Jersey's governor reject the newly planned rail tunnel all because of politics. These sums, or rather changes in digit numbers seem very disturbing for republicans, and make them feel like they're going to loose their job. What these governors are doing is simply wrong, as they should create many thousand jobs rather than create a new term for themself. What happens in the the end is that a different democratic opponent may take the initiative and this will in turn move the expected completion date ten years further. Its not logical, and this doesn't have to happen. Politics in the case of rail tunnels should be ammended, and governors should have less power when deciding the ultimate fate of that project.
• United States
13 Nov 10
I agree, I have heard a lot about the New Jersey deal, and I know that has more to do with politics than money. When the governor pulled out of that deal he made a lot of very important people in New York very made, and made a lot of enemies real quick. If he doesn't get the project back up and running, than I am sure he won't see another term. One thing New Yorkers hate to do is sit around on crowded trains, and there are a lot of New Yorkers that live in Jersey, and they have a lot of money, and will remember him when it takes them another hour to get home.