Monday, June 1, 2009

McGovern Calls for Transit Spending

Former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern is asking President Obama to think about halving the military budget and spending more of it on things like railways. Things are getting interesting out there.

Finally, I would like to see America build the fastest, safest and cleanest-powered railway system in the world. This nationwide system of passenger and freight rail service should be integrated with equally superior public transit facilities in our cities.

Very few Americans are in the market for a tank or aircraft carrier. There are many eager consumers for the world's best, fastest and safest rail and transit systems.

A recent study showed that public transit spending was much higher in returns on jobs than defense spending and other national priorities. I don't understand why we don't jump on this faster.

10 comments:

theo said...

McGovern was the DEMOCRATIC candidate in 1972. You might want to correct that...he was far from conservative, probably the most liberal/populist candidate of the last 60 years.

Justin said...

Frick, I'm Canadian, and even I know George MCGovern was Democratic. He exemplifies how Democrats can manage to botch easy elections.

Anonymous said...

Justin, I think you mean that McGovern exemplifies how REPUBLICANS botch easy elections.

'72 was gonna be a cakewalk for Nixon, regardless of who was nominated. There was no need for the dirty tricks and illegal activities that led to Watergate and the resignation of Nixon.

Paz said...

Well, I mean he is opposing EFCA...

kenf said...

Another wild eyed "liberal" Michael Moore said something similar today:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-moore/goodbye-gm_b_209603.html

He also mailed the same article to his mailing list.

He is asking the President to start building high speed and light rail, and using the government's newly aquired GM to build the equipment.

Andy said...

One reason this will never happen: military-industrial-petroleum complex.

Andy said...

One reason our economy is in the tank is all our spending on military. We spend more than rest of the world combined. We spend more on spying than China, Iran, and N. Korea spend combined on military. Very, very, very little of this provides any real benefit to us common folk.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Sorry guys. Late night brain freeze. Fixed now.

Alon Levy said...

The study seems like yet another thinktank hatchet job. Heritage and Cato produce studies saying that transit is pork and the government should be funding roads; IPS produces studies saying the military spending is pork and the government should be funding mass transit.

As for Michael Moore's idea, I really wish people would understand that trains cost 5% as much as the cars they remove from the road, and employ 5-10% as many people.

JoeC said...

I'm glad Ambassador McGovern is still speaking up for transit. I worked on his campaign in 1984 (yes he ran in '84) when one of his ten prioities was rebuilding the country's rail passenger network. We're finally catching up to him.
The study saying that funding transit prodcues a greater econmic benfit than military spending is nothing new - it was old news in 1984. Except in a really big war, military equipment and trainging just sits around gathering dust, whereas transit spending encourages smart development, saves passnegers money over driving, and uses resources more efficiently.
Conservatives used to say government should only be involved in building roads (not transit) and fighting wars. Now they've started privatizing even that.