Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Debt bad, but bring on that $1.9 billion unfunded freeway project

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel thinks expanding I-94 North-South from the Illinois-Wisconsin state line to about Holt Ave. and I-894 from I-94 to 35th St. is a great idea. In its editorial saying that, the JS did not question how this $1.9 billion project would be funded, or how much more debt the state would incur to pave over wetlands and dump millions of gallons more of polluted runoff into our waterways so folks could save a few minutes drive time, during rush hour, in the year 2035.

The JS didn't blink a newspapery eye at Secretary of Transportation Frank Busalacchi's statement that he wanted the feds to kick in about half the cost of the project, even though the Federal Highway Trust Fund is projected to start running negative balances in 2009.

Today, however, the paper's editorial board declares that the state is headed "in the wrong direction" with its ever-growing debt burden.

News flash for the editorial board: massive highway projects and state debt are related. When the former is approved, the latter increases. It's just the way it is.

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