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Saturday, March 03, 2012

"Full speed ahead!" The RTD light rail scam

Westminster City Councilmember Mark Kaiser is displeased with the possibility that RTD will not build the Northwest corridor line through his town.

In the March 1, 2012 edition of the Westminster Window (page 7), he complains that the people of Westminster were promised a train, and, by God, they better get one. He wrote, "It is not a system unless it is built as promised and as the voters approved in 2004."

Like all too many, Kaiser focuses on only part of the promise. He sees the shiny train that was promised. Unfortunately, he is blind to the price tag that was also promised.

In 2004, voters approved a price tag of $894.6 million for the light rail expansion. Now RTD says the price tag is actually $1.7 billion. Like a modern, twisted version of Admiral Farragut, Kaiser says "damn the price tag, full speed ahead!"

Kaiser's refusal to acknowledge the cost is a refusal to acknowledge reality. This blindness is a common affliction of statists - they want something, damn it, and cost means nothing. Costs are irrelevant to those with  this affliction. In the real world, however, costs matter.

Voters were duped in 2004. Giving RTD more money in 2012 would be like giving Bernie Madoff more money to invest.

Hopefully voters, despite the blindness of some, will not be played the fool again.



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