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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

Let’s Build a Railroad to Nowhere, For the Sake of Building a Railroad to Nowhere.

Never mind that there is no legitimate business need. Forget the fact that it will spend billions in taxpayer’ money without any economic benefits (except for the union workers who will be paid for the make-work jobs). There is no plan, not even an idea for a plan. In sum, the BlueGreen Alliance (that coalition of unions and environmentalists) are calling for a new railroad to be built—for the sake of building a railroad.

The BlueGreen Alliance doesn’t have a specific plan in mind, but says several proposals in Congress would advance the concept of rail expansion, from a tax credit to railroads for expanding capacity to the $50 billion infrastructure package President Obama proposed in September.

“We’re hoping this kind of spurs more of those ideas (to be) thrown out there, but we are not going to be supporting any direct number of tracks laid,” says alliance regional program manager Tom Conway.

The alliance argues new rail would equal new jobs, and more environmentally friendly transport.

United Steelworkers regional organizer Robin Rich says companies in Lake County, LaPorte and Logansport all make steel used in railroad tracks, and would gain jobs from a rail expansion in Indiana. A study the alliance co-authored in May calculates every billion dollars spent on freight rail translates to 78-hundred new jobs, a cost of $128,000 per job.

You’ve gotta hand it to these people. They’re not even pretending to have a good idea anymore. They just want to build a railroad to nowhere, for the sake of building a railroad to nowhere.

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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.”  Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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