The Humble Libertarian

Building a small army to take over the world and... leave everybody alone.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Santorum’s Tunnel and Federal Transportation Policy


The taxpayers are always left holding the bag when it comes to insane projects like high speed rail and tunnels. It's not just federal dollars; mountains of state and local debt are always dumped on taxpayers who end up paying.
If, like me, you’re a Pennsylvanian who wants a smaller federal government, you’ve probably been scratching your head at Rick Santorum’s success in the Republican primaries. An article in today’s Washington Times on the former Pennsylvania senator’s lack of popularity in the Keystone State is instructive. The Times singles out Santorum’s leading role in getting federal taxpayers to foot 80 percent of the bill for a tunnel project in Pittsburgh that even former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell called “a tragic mistake .” (When “Fast Eddie ” dings a government project, you know it’s bad.) Indeed, the North Shore Connector was originally projected to cost $350 million but the final price tag will be closer to $528 million. (The Obama administration kindly kicked in $63 million in stimulus funds to help get the over-budget project finished.) As one local critic notes , that’s a lot of money to provide “cheap public transportation” for “Steeler and Pirates fans too lazy to walk across one of four bridges that already connect downtown and the ballparks.”
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