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Scott says no thanks to feds’ $2.4 billion for hi-speed rail

by Dara Kam | February 16th, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott announced this morning he’s rejecting $2.4 billion in federal stimulus money from President Obama’s administration for a high-speed rail project from Orlando to Tampa.

Scott made the announcement at a hastily-called press conference this morning where he blasted the president’s budget.

“You don’t have to be an economics expert to know when you spend more money than you take in you will fail,” Scott said, saying ridership studies were overstated.

Scott’s move will certainly draw cheers from tea party activists who have railed against the high-speed rail project. Scott, who rolled out his budget at a tea party event earlier this month, met privately with two Tampa tea party activists last week. The pair urged him to say no to the high-speed rail project that had the support of powerful GOP legislative leaders as well as Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“I am deeply disappointed in the decision to not move forward with the Orlando to Tampa passenger rail project,” Mica said in a statement. “This is a huge setback for the state of Florida, our transportation, economic development, and important tourism industry.”

Scott was also asked about Central Florida’s controversial $1.2 billion SunRail project — which critics have called a worse deal for taxpayers than high-speed rail.

“I’m still reviewing SunRail,” the governor said.

House Speaker Dean Cannon issued an ambiguous statement about Scott’s decision to scrap the project that would have brought jobs to his hometown.

“I have not spoken to the Governor regarding today’s announcement, but I watched the Governor’s press conference. I’m encouraged that he is focusing on the practical realities of government programs, and their long-term impacts. As the Constitutional officer charged with carrying out transportation policy, the Governor seems to have determined that at this time he cannot feasibly implement high-speed rail in Florida. I have confidence that he will bring the same level of scrutiny to other issues,” Cannon, R-Winter Park, said.

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42 Responses to “Scott says no thanks to feds’ $2.4 billion for hi-speed rail”

  1. Palin Fan Says:

    Thank goodness! I’m so glad that we can now avoid another liberal big government boon-doggle-thingy! It often reminds me of another liberal boon-doggle when Carter tried to “rescue” our hostages in Iran. We all know how that turned out don’cha?

  2. Ed Says:

    I am glad this idea is finally dead. Why should I have to pay for other people to use trains to travel quickly from Tampa to Orlando when I can get there by private jet. Let the moochers walk.

  3. cmw Says:

    Hip, hip, hooray! Who in the world is looking for a high speed rail from Tampa to Orlando? 9 months after the rails opened, ridership would be next to nothing. Keep up the good work and we can turn around the State and the country.

  4. Fred Says:

    Had no problem taking federal money when it was from ripping off Medicare, why now?

  5. Herman G Says:

    Way to go governpr Skeletor, noww, go eat a cheeseburger you douchebag

  6. Good call this time Says:

    While I have grave concerns about Rick Scott as governor because I witnessed his Percocet abuse when I was an employee at Columbia/HCA, I applaud him on this one. There’s no demand for a hi-speed rail from Orlando to Tampa. Take a bus.

  7. Bob Gottlieb Says:

    Last I checked, the feds provided land and funded America’s first TransContinental Railroad, and America’s Interstate Highway system without relying solely on private industry to do so. But that was back in those silly days when America was bold, visionary and a truly great nation. Those days are long past.

  8. Palin Fan Says:

    And one other thing. Know what really gets my goat? I wish people would know what they are talking about before commenting!

  9. Tea Fan Says:

    Right on, Palin Fan! Big Government is not the answer to our problems.

    Now we need to get rid of socialist programs like Obamacare. And Medicare. And Social Security.

    And hopefully, Scott will get rid of that other Big Government hand-out: Citizen’s Property. If people need home owners insurance, let private insurers do the work. Not put us taxpayers on the hook!!

  10. Anon Says:

    Man – the Palin crowd really has to dig deep for straws to grasp goin’ all the way back to Carter. And when one gets down to it the tragedy in the desert can hardly be blamed on a guy half a world away – even though he gave final authority to it. One would think the military brass felt they were more than competent and up to the task. If one wants to talk about boon-doggles how about something a little more recent – like, oh I don’t know, something like “weapons of mass destruction” or “high grade aluminum tubes for a centrifuge” or “Nigerian yellow-cake uranium” … which should not be confused with pink Peruvian fish flake.

  11. daniel Says:

    yhea who needs high spped rail? u idiots we have a torist economy and this would of connected disney to the beautiful west coast beaches. A two hour trip cut to a third of the time. will u repubs please take back ur brains. jesus.

  12. william Says:

    You got to be kidding….
    Turn down $2.4 B for high speed rail… that possibly bring jobs and who knows what else….
    By gosh I am glad they build I75 and I95 before he got in office ….
    It would made my trip down here so much longer…
    It is amazing how he can turn down billions when he hook or crook the his millions in the name of good fortune…
    There is so much that stinks in this man no wonder he has no hair… ….

  13. Palin Fan Says:

    Well now what does “yellow cake” and WMD’s have to do with high-speed rail? Jeesh, last time people got this worked up was when the Gov. of Alaska put the state jet up on e-bay!

  14. R U Kidding Says:

    You want to spend BILLIONS of dollars for a 85 mile trip! Give me a break!

    The “tourists” can drive that distance – or maybe you would like that industry (CAR RENTALS)to loose money too? Creating MORE jobs lost!

    I think Gov Scott made the right decision!

  15. nemo Says:

    It is obvious to all but the most left wing supporters that we don’t need a high speed rail link that will go 85 miles in about 1/3 the time. That is very fast…for what will surley be an empty train. Good job Gov. Scott. Keep going.

  16. Downtown Danny Says:

    THE JOBS KILLING GOV STRIKES AGAIN! He had no problem ripping off medicare for his own pocket but wont take ed money for jobs for us. With him & the tea bag idiots the nation will never build anything again. If it was up to them the Panama Canal would not have been built. And for the moron “Tea fan” what happens when private insurers wont insure Florida homes? Hi speed rail is the future – but tea bag idiots think we live in the 17th century.

  17. skeptic Says:

    you are all right, just keep driving all those cars and trucks poluting the air, and kowtowing to the Muslims who conyrol the flow of oil.

  18. BustedUpGrunt Says:

    @Palin Fan
    I’ll bite. I believe the other poster’s point was that this $2.4 Bil rail issue amounts to nothing compared to today’s other news that the Intel source, used as US justification for invading Iraq, confessed to lying about it…all fiction. His lies were about WMD’s, cetrifuges, uranium, etc.
    That’s a much more important story than this rail issue.

  19. Bob Gottlieb Says:

    Don’t build I-95 or any Federal Interstate Highways !!! IT WILL ONLY TAKE BUSINESS AWAY FROM STORES ON OUR EXISTING DUSTY ROADS. (political argument against I-95 being built in Florida in 1959.)

  20. Randy Says:

    Listen sheeple Clinton was impeached for sticking a cigar in a very naughty place!

  21. Palin Fan Says:

    I don’t know where you lefty’s get your facts from. I’ve been listening to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh so far today and nothing about lying about WMD’s. Oh yeah, I checked out Fox news and guess what? Nothing there either! Like I said earlier, you left-leaning commie nut-jobber-wockies need to get your facts straight in stead of spoutin’ your talking points from MSNBC!

  22. Joe Says:

    Where are the 700,000 jobs!!!!!! anyone else notice he resembles a much younger charls montgomery burns?

  23. Loge23 Says:

    Don’t suppose the Palin crowd gets around much, but when it comes to mass transit, the U.S. is pretty much where it is in math, science, reading, and health care: way behind the rest of the civilized world. This project would cost the state little or nothing. It would create thousands of jobs (other than in doughnut shops) and enhance tourism. It would take cars off the highways and let us travel without being groped at the airport. Education is fun, try it sometime.

  24. Nice View Says:

    Palin said she could see BOTH Tampa and Orlando from her kitchen window, so she wonders why they need a rail line between them.

  25. Palin Fan Says:

    Hello Mr. Loggie23,

    If the good ole’ US of A is falling behind the rest of the so called “civilized world” (and by the I betcha’ you mean places like Egypt, Iran, etc.) who is to blame? How about them big ole lefty’s who run the teacher’s union? Instead of paying themselves a big ole’ fat pension, you could use that towards those needy classrooms. Now that’s change you can hope for. Yes we can!

  26. BustedUpGrunt Says:

    @Palin Fan
    I got the story off Fox news website today. Search for “Janabi WMD” on the Fox site and you’ll see it. Story title is “I’m proud my WMD lies led to war in Iraq”.
    Much more important story than this RR story.

  27. Palin Fan Says:

    You mean to tell me that tearing up one of Florida’s greatest treasures is not an important story? You’d rather talk about some bakery in Africa that makes a pretty mean cake, then you go right ahead mister! I’ll just stand watch and make sure you mean liberals don’t tear up our beloved orange groves just so you can attend a NAMBLA convention in Orlando!

  28. What the? Says:

    The only reason the lefty’s want this is because Obama want’s it. They don’t take into account how much it will cost to build…CA. got $10 billion from Obama and the latest estimate is $80 billion to complete. Who pays the difference? could it be taxpayers?
    OK how about the enviromental benefits….UC studies have shown if every train seat was filled for every train replacing every car seat over the course of 60 years the high speed rail does slightly WORSE on carbon emmisions than if it was never built! speaking of built, What American company builds the high speed rail? could it be we have to purchase it abroad? Do we still make steel for the rails or will we have to purchase from China? Palin Fan hit the nail on the head, what about the destruction of the land to build this thing? aren’t there people hanging out in a tree to save a forest? and finally jobs….how many people does it take to run a train? just guessing here……..1 driver, 2 assist. 2 roaming the train, 1 security, 4 ticket takers(2 for each station) and lets just say it takes 20 more people for maintenence etc. thats a total of 30 people per 8 hour shift 90 if running 24 hours a day. If I am even remotely right on any of these points, my conclusion is 1. higher taxes, 2. higher carbon footprint 3. we’ll buy materials from overseas, 4. temp. construction project, 5. destruction of forests, 6. employ 90 people.

  29. rbuchannan Says:

    The governor obviously understands the fiscal challenges our nation is facing. I’m glad he’s willing to stand up for sensible economic values on the federal level when our elected officials will not!

  30. GoPack591 Says:

    @Rbuchanan, its not just our governor who is acting sensibly on this issue, we have a strong core of conservative ideologists in this state led by Senate President Haridopolos and Speaker Cannon who truly understand that Obama’s folleys don’t have to become Florida’s problem. Thankfully the Governor shares this clear minded and rational opinion.

  31. Fedup again Says:

    Sen. Bill Nelson is going to try an end run and get the hood opps Ray Lahood dot to give the money directly to the counties for the rail rofl. Nelson is just making it easier to see him off to the retirement home come 2012. Maybe the counties could run with the money and never build a thing, the way government today does things unlike way back when men were men and you could bank on their word.

  32. Jorge Says:

    As voter and productive citizen…I am hopping that the Rail High Speed Project in South Florida pass due to the poor transportation sources here in South Florida. I voted yes couple year ago and we still waiting. Is the transportation that I use to go to the south counties from Palm Beach. I praying for that to pass!!!

  33. jaded Says:

    I think Scott is owned by the fabulously wealthy Koch bothers, just like the Tea Party is. This will cost us thousands of private sector jobs. My son’s engineering firm (HNTB) already had the contract for this, had received funds, and had hired people to implement it. He says they will have to fire 10 people tomorrow in the Orlando office. This decision is neither beneficial in the short term, when we need jobs, nor visionary for the future. America is quickly losing it’s status as a world leader.

  34. mike Says:

    The only positive I got out of this whole article was the in fighting between the T-bags and the gop. Its going on all across the country. The above comments are very amusing especially the ones from palin fan. I cant figure out if he/she is for real or just making fun of. Either way its hilarious. Scott on perocet? Hmmm, kinda starting to make sense now.

  35. Darrell Dolley Says:

    Why doesn’t someone start a recall measure? Since I only moved to Florida 4 years ago, I am not certain how one goes about recalling a seated governor. Is a signed petition with a required number of signatures the first step? and then it gets put on a ballot? But when does it get put on a ballot–does it have to wait unitl for the next statewide voting cycle?

  36. carl Doane Says:

    RE: High Speed Rail,
    We The People Have Spoken.
    Gov. Rick Scott has made the Decision in the best interest of the Citizens of the Great State Of Florida.
    This Decision is not to be second Guessed By anyone.
    Mr. John Mica we Respectfully ask you to Support this Action.
    Mr.Nelson we ask That you Listen to the People.!!!

  37. FLNative Says:

    Way to go Rick Scott! Keep those Floridians out of work! Keep Floridians begging for jobs! How arrogant of Floridians to think they really do deserve jobs! Florida needs more theme parks! Florida needs more Lego Parks! A good Floridian is one that is picking up trash from millionaire Republicans like Rick Scott! America Come to Florida! It’s a great place to go to a theme park, golf and fish! OH! And by the way Floridians just love picking up your trash! We love it!

  38. texark66 Says:

    The state of New York has already asked for Florida’s money. I suspect it will now go from the Sunshine state to the Empire state.

  39. Wayne & Betty Pringle Says:

    Listen to the people who elected you! We have NO MONEY! We don’t need more debt! Why would you even consider trying to override the governor for something like a high-speed rail system. It will be a road to nowhere if we become a third-world country, not able to pay our bills.

  40. Darrell Dolley Says:

    I still believe he should be recalled. We may be going broke financially, but we are going broke in our education abilities, math and science we are 9th to 21st ranked in the world. Most European Countries and China are far superior on high speed transportation–it becomes a great boost to the economy–it creates jobs and will attract more tourist–Florida’s main source of income–but no, the Republicans will save money today and tomorrow we will be totally screwed when our infrastructure–roads and rail–is completely gone to potholes.

  41. Lee Roulson Says:

    High speed rail is a boondogle that is a gift to the private railroads. A waste of taxpayer money.

  42. eileen Says:

    I drove I-4 yesterday at noon between Tampa and Orlando. Stop and go all the way. Who needs a high speed rail? I love burning gas stuck in traffic at $3.50/gallon. W2G Governor!!!!

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