Thursday, August 18, 2016

$10 million here, $60 million there, pretty soon you’re talking real money….

We’re paraphrasing, of course, a famous quip by Senator Everett Dirksen some decades ago in which he famously said something like “a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

If you really want to shock your system, watch the under two minute video recorded in 1965 in which he worries about national debt.  You’ll find it here:

We’re here today because of circumstances that astonish even your correspondent, and that’s a bit of a challenge, given the bizarre behavior we’ve observed over our lifetime.  Thanks to the Mackinac Center for their concise intro for what we have to say.



So let’s get right to it.

There appears to be no limit to the preposterous stupidity and recklessness with which our federal and state governments will spend other people’s money.  Money they don’t even have to spend, given federal deficits and runaway national debt.


And no limit to the number of silver pompadoured elite activists who will demand government do so to satisfy their hobbyist cravings, and  then have the gall to pat themselves on the back for coming up with the idea and convincing those in charge to spend it with wild abandon. 


Flim-flammers like this believe it is their right to have Government take funds from others (you and yours, and ours as well) by force of law, so they can spend it on their personal wants and ego monuments.


What are we talking about?  This article from yesterday:

It describes NNEPRA’s plan to spend another $10 million or so ‘optimizing’ the Portland North Downeaster Expansion, on which roughly $60 million has already been spent on capital projects, with no hope of recovery.  Downeaster operations, just for good measure, bleed about $1 million a month on top of that.

So you can readily understand how another $10 million in capital spending is warranted.

We’ve written about this very subject before…in fact a number of times.  We all know that NNEPRA, TRNE, AAB, and the other guardians of public funds have a stable full of horses in this race. Still, as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a horse that’s too dead to beat.

So we’re going to refer you to a post of last year, in which the need for this siding was proven totally false, based on the analysis of a career professional passenger rail manager, with far greater experience than anyone on the proponent’s side.

Here’s where you can find the post:  You’ll find out that NNEPRA has failed more than once getting a federal TIGER Grant to fund their wildly unnecessary expansion plans, because, well, it’s fun to spend OPM, right?


The core of the opposition to the need for this $10 million siding is this simple diagram, which shows existing track conformation, and the proposed new siding:

In a blinding statement of the obvious, just 3 miles away from the site of the proposed project is an existing 1.9 mile siding which can easily accomplish the same functions.  If only those concerned wanted to do so.  Yet there has been no public airing of the options, or second thoughts in the halls of Augusta.


Why?  Because if we don’t go ahead and spend money we don’t have, there will be too, too many unhappy ladies of the town, worrying that they’re not being catered to like they’ve come to expect.

Here’s an idea that builds on the fine example set by our governments.  The next time you want to ride the Downeaster, buy your tickets with counterfeit currency, or pay for them with a maxed out credit card, or write a check for them on an overdrawn checking account.

We’ll close with another truism, and remind you that in this case, ‘government’ is, in effect, NNEPRA, and their hired abetters at TRNE, AAB, MRTC, MRG, and the rest.


So whenever you ponder what your share of the national debt is, be sure to thank your lucky stars that at least you know exactly who to hold accountable for some of it.

As if that will do any good.

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