CAGW Names Rep. Jerrold Nadler Porker of the Month



For Immediate Release

Contact:  Leslie K. Paige    202.467.5334

February 23, 2011

Luke Gelber    202.467.5305

 


(Washington, D.C.) - Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) February Porker of the Month for his continued insistence on wasting tens of billions of taxpayer dollars on federal high-speed rail (HSR) projects.  On January 27, 2011, Rep. Nadler called for $117 billion in federal funding for HSR over the next 30 years.  If history is any guide, total costs will be dramatically higher.


Rep. Nadler has claimed that federal spending on HSR will “generate an operating surplus of $900 million per year,” which is unlikely.  Amtrak was supposed to earn a profit when it was purchased by the government in 1971, but it has required $37 billion in subsidies since then.  Taxpayers understand that if the government can’t turn a profit on lower-cost, low-speed rail, it will never earn a dime on higher-cost, high speed rail.  According to a March 2009 Government Accountability Office report, HSR will cost between $22 million to $132 million per mile.


HSR has also been billed as a method to reduce carbon emissions and road congestion.  But most traffic jams are caused by commuters, not inter-city travelers, and recent studies have shown that the carbon benefits of HSR are much smaller than typically advertised, especially if ridership is lower than expected.  Despite these drawbacks, the Obama administration proposed an additional $53 billion over six years for HSR in the fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget, an initiative that Rep. Nadler supports.


“CAGW has long opposed federal funding for HSR.  Government-subsidized high-speed rail was a ludicrous idea when $8 billion was included for it in the stimulus package; it is an even more asinine idea now that the debt has skyrocketed to more than $14 trillion,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz.  “HSR is a prime example of government ‘investment’ that should be identified for what it is: more pork and wasteful spending that will misuse scarce capital resources and expand the nation’s massive deficit and national debt.  A majority of the House of Representatives showed they agree with CAGW on this issue when they passed the Full-Year Continuing Resolution for FY 2011 that zeroed out funding for HSR.”


For continuing to peddle his fatuous claptrap about HSR and pushing taxpayers to throw good money after bad on extravagant choo-choo trains, CAGW names Rep. Jerrold Nadler its February 2011 Porker of the Month. 


CAGW’s Porker of the Month can also be viewed on video, which is co-produced with reason.tv, the video website of Reason Magazine.  CAGW’s Porker of the Month is available on both CAGW’s homepage and at reason.tv


Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers. 


 

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