So much for all the talk about the free market, smaller government, not picking winners and losers, and opposing corporate welfare like at the EXIM Bank.
This is big government, Republican style. You gotta wonder why Wisconsinites even vote anymore, since they're getting anything in return. Maybe voting, which like labor laws, civil service exams, public schools and university's, is also just a relic of the past.
A bipartisan bill would allow public money to be used for manufacturing rail cars to ship wood. The bill requires the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to award a $4.8 million grant to the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission from the state's Freight Rail Infrastructure Improvement Program, which provides loans to private companies to improve transportation efficiency and connections to the national railroad system. The money would be used by the transit commission to purchase the log cars.And while we've given up the state parks, we are now the proud owners of rail cars:
Sens. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, and Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, introduced the measure. Bewley said that currently, there's a shortage of cars that needs to be addressed. "The railroads are devoting most of their cars over to sand, and we need to come up with the cars we need to haul wood products."
(Brewley) said the cars would be publicly owned and available for use by any railroad.And the rugged timber industry, plugging away in the free market paradise created by Scott Walker, can't wait to stuff their pockets with taxpayer cash:
Northwoods Rail Transit Commission Chairwoman Wendy Gehlhoff said they’ve been applying for a federal grant and state money to fund construction of 40 to 50 new log cars. She said many log cars currently in use are set to reach the end of their life expectancy. "In the next few years, we stand to lose more than half of the log cars that are out there," she said.And while taxpayer freely lend out rail cars, maintaining them along the way as well, you won't be surprised by this last insult by private industry...Canadian at that:
Canadian National operates rail lines in northern Wisconsin that traditionally carried logging freight and were once owned by Wisconsin Central Limited. Gehlhoff said CN isn't investing much in new cars because it’s not profitable for them to haul wood....so they can just go to the taxpayers? Well isn't that a great business model.