Scott Walker wants the train manufacturer to stay in Wisconsin even though he doesn’t want to do business with them. I think that’s kind of funny. It’s not the only contradiction Scott Walker will have to resolve.

For example, I love the smoking ban. Love, love, love it. But it goes against my fundamental belief that a business owner has a right to control his business, so if it disappears, I’ll understand even if I stink coming out of some places again.

I’m bracing myself for changes. Some I will like; some I won’t. Some will make sense even if they don’t work best for me. I’ll live through it. All I ask is that when a new policy is set, stick to it. I’m a little tired of being on the back end of a playground game of crack the whip.


  1. Scott Walker the governor-elect is getting a first hand lesson about how saying anything in order to get elected could come back to bite him in the butt.

  2. Jonas Wilkerson says:

    Asking Talgo to stay while eliminating the train is like asking Harley Davidson to stay while banning motorcycles in Wisconsin.

    The Governor-elect will have to be willing to let the Talgo jobs go if he’s bent on sticking to his “stop the train” promise.

  3. If Talgo wants to leave Wisconsin, that’s ok with me. We, the American taxpayers, cannot afford a train no one is going to ride. For 800m how few jobs are we talking about anyway? Give the money back and hope Obama doesn’t spend it somewhere else. Make it a spending cut and reduce the red ink by 800m

  4. BrkfldDad says:

    40 jobs now, 125 by this time next year. And, if they get the WI trains and some other orders the plant would stay open past 2012. Past 2012!?!?!? Sounds like a real solid long term business 🙁 And the city paid $3,000,000 in costs to renovate the old Tower plant?? ROI must not be something these folks understand.

  5. Yes, this is going to sound snarky, but it’s your money they are spending. Why would they fake an understanding of ROI?

  6. Jonas Wilkerson says:

    Have to admit, for the most part, I checked out of the “stop the train” debate. It wasn’t my issue.

    However, BrkfldDad’s comment about $3,000,000 being spent by the city to renovate the told Tower plant makes me angry.

    WHAT A JOKE. Seriously? Is that how we do economic development now? Bribing companies to come to Wisconsin and hand over $3,000,000 in taxpayer dollars to do so? I guess I could understand if we were hiring 3-4,000 workers, but 125 jobs? Really?

  7. I swear that the false concept of economic development will bring cities to their knees in the next decade. Brookfield won’t be excluded.

  8. BrkfldDad says:

    Actually, I wouldn’t accuse them of faking an ROI, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one. ‘Job creation’ is not an ROI if the numbers don’t make sense. Good money after bad, they’ll throw any amount at it, just to create jobs.

  9. Oh, heck. They can lie to us about the jobs created and we wouldn’t have a clue. There’s no way to verify it anyway.

  10. BrkfldDad says:

    True, heck I think I’ve heard a zillion different figures on what the stimulus packages has or hasn’t created.

    I heard a rumor that Matt Gibson is pushing for the high speed rail, to allow open enrollment students from the Madison area to attend Elmbrook Schools. Now there’s a payback I could support. Ok, just kidding… 🙂

  11. You’re going to get me blacklisted. Cool it! 😉

  12. Jonas Wilkerson says:

    I was just doing a little math here. So, the city spent $3 million to attract Talgo to Milwaukee to create up to 125 jobs. This is $24,000 per job.

    At that rate, it will cost $6 trillion in state taxpayer dollars to create the 250,000 jobs Scott Walker has promised to create as Governor.

    Just putting things into perspective.

  13. I wish the js would have investigated the ‘He said’, ‘She said’ aspect of the conversation between Walker and Taglo which implied or created confusion as to whether Walker was now possibly open to the train. Although his spokesperson flatly denied it, it did make me wonder how this guy communicates behind closed doors.

  14. Uhem. He said, she said conversations are that upon which the paper relies for sales. They are masters at the MJS.

  15. So,Cindy, do you think the h-s-s-s conversation was fabricated or embellished by js reporter, or just tightly parsed?

  16. Milwaukee’s contribution to clean up a brownfield site left by Tower Automotive speaks more to the state of our older manufacturing base and who will pay for the necessary infrastructure improvements. However the train debate will be dwarfed by the coming cuts necessary to balance the state budget. The State Gov’t is basically a pass through to municipalities, plan on cuts of ???% to Shared revenue to Municipalities., School Dist.,, and Medicaid funding. Ask your local officials how they will respond to cuts of 10-40%. Maybe Scott can actually find ongoing expenses of waste, fraud and abuse; but when did the real conversation occur during the last election?

  17. Randy in Richmond says:

    If history is any indicator it doesn’t matter how much is being estimated for your choo-choo, it will end up costing way beyond whatever that figure happens to be. It will also cost much more than is being estimated to operate and run it. Other than a very few passenger trains of any type, they all lose money. Personally I love riding the train–will do so in just a few weeks–but economical for passenger service they are not.

  18. the great leader of our path to the west and the great train robbers of the past would be sad. then why does Europe do well with trains ?

  19. BrkfldDad says:

    Europe does well because the high speed trains (as in China, Japan, etc…) run on dedicated passenger tracks. It still amazes me that this doesn’t seem to ever enter the argument here in WI. High speed rail is doomed to fail if it proceeds and shares the tracks with freight.

  20. I don’t know why it doesn’t enter the argument here, too. I’ve been told that because of the weight a freight train is too much for a fast tract, but a fast train will be slowed by the sturdy track needed for a freight train.

    It would be a nightmare to gather enough land to put in a fast track. We aren’t very fond of eminent domain around here.

  21. I found this report. Assuming it’s true it’s pretty comprehensive in it’s explanation of the problems facing high speed rail if attitudes don’t change –

  22. I have to admit, if we could truly get HSR in WI, at the 150 MPH speeds, I’d jump on the train in a heartbeat at a Brookfield stop to go to Chicago, or the Farmers’ Market in Madison!

  23. So would I. I think. Except do you know how much I paid to get from Madrid to Barcelona last month? This stuff isn’t cheap.

  24. Did you travel in style or as a tourist? The weak dollar doesn’t help, but I am betting you paid at least $150 one way. Probably near 3 times what you could have gotten a cheap flight for I bet? Yep, not cheap.

  25. Cattle class, dollar was a lovely 1.29 to the euro. And yes, that’s just about right. Still, there wasn’t an airport hassle, etc, and it was fun. 🙂

  26. ROI? Hmmm. Get an infusion of $800 million, which would be recirculated several times over, for the price of $7.5 million a year. Hmmm. Oh yeah, and a $100 million hit if you pull out now. Hmmm. This is a no-brainer! Even if you don’t like rail, if it will be underutilized, whatever. These are federal dollars which will go elsewhere if we don’t use them. Hold your nose and take the cash. And I thought the right was supposed to be the “business astute” side.

  27. interesting comment that europe has dedicated rails only for passengers. do they have separate rails for freight ? does that mean that the present rails cannot be used for high speed ? why from milwaukee to madison? why not from milwaukee , to say for example, to Canada ?

  28. The responsible thing would be for the money, that we don’t have, should go back into the bank and reduce our red ink. Walker should give it back and make a deal to forget the 100m. We don’t need to be part of the problem.

  29. BrkfldDad says:

    Dick – yep, separate tracks for freight exist pretty much everywhere high speed rail has been successful. Where they don’t (i.e., the east cost Acela line), they are fiscal failures. While a ‘faster’ train can run on the current tracks, true high speed can’t be achieved. And on the current tracks although they may be able to reach 110 mph, the stops and freight trains will mean average speeds much lower than that.

    jimspice – thanks for confirming the liberal tax and spend attitude we’ve all grown tired of. Let’s continue, dollar by dollar, to grow an unsustainable government debt level that will crush generations to come.

  30. China has 245 mph high speed rail. That’s the kind of rail I can get excited about.

    Maybe you have to begin with slow high speed rail and work your way up.

  31. Or maybe you should start with 245 mph and get excited. 😉

  32. Randy in Richmond says:

    Okay. Now we know you are really a member of Congress just expressing your views here using an alias. Come on, which Distict do you represent ?

  33. Here’s how I presented it in a friendly exchange on Facebook:

    “Suppose some crazy rich dude knocks on your door and says the previous owner had agreed to erect a statue in your front yard. It’s going to cost 800 thousand dollars to be built, by your neighbors, over 4 years. After that, you’re obligated to maintain it for 30 years, painting and such, which will cost about $7,500 a year.

    Why on earth would you agree to that deal? You’ve seen the plans. The statue is kind of ugly, and you’re not even really an art fan.

    Here’s the thing. You get a finders fee from each of your neighbors that gets work. Not only that, but you get a further kickback if those neighbors contract with another neighbor for goods and services, and so on, and so on. You figure you can easily earn the entire 30 year maintenance fee in those first four years. After that, it’s pure profit.

    Plus, the neighbors that will get the work will improve their own homes, raising everyone’s property value in the neighborhood. There might even be a few vacant homes that ill be bought by new neighbors attracted by the economic buzz in your area. And now, that rich guy is starting to feel guilty about sticking you with the upkeep bill, so agrees to help out by footing 90%. Now it SHOULD be a no brainer. Oh, and one final thing; there was a rider on your home sale you hadn’t noticed earlier. If you renege on the deal, you have to pay the rich guy $100,000.00!

    Now, do you hold out because you think the statue is ugly?”

    Spam word: badger

  34. Randy in Richmond says:

    Call me a sissy. I’m not sure I could get on a train that travels 245 mph–that’s 360 feet per second, or 4 miles per minute – over the ground. Whew !

  35. I have been on the train from Shanghai to the Pudong airport. The trip is about 20 miles and takes less than 8 minutes.
    You have little sensation of the speed because the ride is so smooth. The speed is displayed inside the car. The train travels at top speed for a short duration. The average speed is approximately 170 mph.

  36. good discussion. i agree with Cindy that economic development does not mean what is says. what economy? whose development? who pays? who gains? history tells that people will come and build where there is money to be made without prodding and payouts. it seems that the opposition to high speed rail was, and i agree, that our little village was not well suited and it would cost us local taxpayers lots of dollars. thats for our local officials to resolve.