Saturday, February 2, 2013


Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall
Editorialist, News With Views

September 3, 2010

The Honorable John Kasich
Kasich for Governor
340 East Gay Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Dear Congressman Kasich:

Having lived in Ohio and taken the drive from Cincinnati to Cleveland many times, I couldn’t believe it when Rob Nichols told me the rail plans for Ohio turn the trip into almost seven hours – slower than the old steam engines.  What a great campaign issue they’ve handed you!  I hope the enclosed information about high-speed rail – the real high-speed rail, not the rapid transit the Obama Administration wants to build (though 39 mph is hardly rapid rail, is it?) – is helpful to you in planning the best way to stimulate Ohio’s economy.  Properly done (that means nationally) it can create two million jobs within two years.

As a career banker and bank consultant, if I were running for a governorship right now, I’d be pushing high-speed rail and offering middle-class Americans an opportunity to put their money into something more meaningful than worthless derivatives.  If taxpayers don’t like the HSR deal that’s on the table (it would be nice if they could hear about it), then offer them the opportunity to invest tax free IRA dollars in a project that will put Ohioans and other Americans back to work.  By destroying the value of personal real estate, government has already destroyed the major asset that defines “middle class”:  The value of people’s homes.  A bottom cannot be firmly put under the real estate market until the employment rate justifies it.

Following is a quote from a monologue done on the Rush Limbaugh Show on Monday, August 31, 2010:

“The cost for this (train) line – which is a little over 80 miles – is $810 million, paid for by the federal government. The leading Republican candidate for Governor in my state, Scott Walker, is running television ads saying he’ll kill the train if you elect him. Those ads are resonating across Wisconsin. He’s saying, ‘If you elect me, I’ll kill this pork they’re trying to give us’ – and he sees it as a winning political issue.

“First of all, he recognizes that our state of Wisconsin will be on the hook for operating costs for this train. He also realizes that those costs will have to be taken out of his own State budget and will mean less money for roads, less money for local busses.”
As has become apparent, the federal government does not have the financial resources to implement the high-speed rail promises made. Since an offer to build high-speed rail using private funds and no tax dollars has been on the federal government’s table since 1995, the hesitation to support the private sector is more than slightly puzzling… especially since this project creates so many jobs when implemented nationally.   Further, they pay all operating costs.  Too, as I have written for over a year, though the Obama Administration sys it offers high-speed rail, it offers rapid transit (but cost estimates appear to be compatible with those of more costly high-speed rail construction).

On August 30, 2010, an article from President Obama’s hometown Chicago Tribune said this about the Administration’s promise of 110 mph rapid transit trains:

“Bullet trains routinely operate at 150 to 220 mph. It's the performance level Illinois should be shooting for, said state Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, who is chairman of the Illinois Senate Transportation Committee.

“…Officials at Amtrak, which has minimal expertise in operating high-speed rail, don't see a problem topping out at only 110 mph. An infusion of billions of dollars in federal and state funding will mean better Amtrak service in the Midwest — just don't mistake it for true high-speed trains.

“The genuine article, service at up to 220 mph, is being planned in California and Florida. It already exists to a lesser degree on Amtrak Acela Express trains that get up to 150 mph on small portions of the route between Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington.

The full transcript from the Rush Limbaugh Show and the complete Chicago Tribune article can be found at my high-speed rail blog (along with several articles I have written on the subject) at: .  

I hope this information helps you help the Great State of Ohio recover from the current economic downturn! 


Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall

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