Scott Walker's Cheap Political Points Costly to Taxpayers

Jul 19, 2011

Millions More Out-of-Pocket

MADISON-It made right-wing radio show hosts and Tea Party extremists happy, but Scott Walker’s foolhardy decision to turn away already-allocated federal rail money didn’t just cost Wisconsin thousands of jobs-it will now cost Wisconsin taxpayers millions of dollars.

The facts about the rail debate fly directly in the face of claims made by Walker, who started his term in office with a hypocritical victory lap by killing the Madison-to-Milwaukee rail line that he had once supported.

Walker tried to distinguish the Madison line from the Milwaukee-to-Chicago line, claiming, falsely, that turning down millions of dollars in federal money would save taxpayers. 

But Tuesday’s vote to borrow some $30 million gave the lie to that.

“Scott Walker’s political posturing on rail service will end up costing Wisconsin taxpayers millions more in the long run,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday. “It isn’t enough that he killed thousands of Wisconsin jobs, but now he and his right-wing radio cheerleaders have cost taxpayers millions more, and that bill is going on the taxpayer credit card. Walker has failed to focus on jobs, failed to balance budgets and now, clearly, failed to save taxpayer dollars.”