Tuesday, March 22, 2011

For Kasich It's Not About the Streetcar, It's All About His Political Agenda

If anyone tells you that the reason Governor Kasich is pulling funding for Cincinnati Streetcar is anything other than Politics, then they are a fucking liar. You can tell them I am calling them a liar and you can put these simple political reasons back in their face:

Kasich is pulling funding because:
  • He's looking to screw those that don't vote for him and the City of Cincinnati really didn't vote for him with only 28.77% supporting him, so Kasich plays hardball with State funds for revenge.
  • He's looking to do what his fellow Republicans want and Most (not all) of Cincinnati area Republican leaders are against the Streetcar as they are against nearly anything good for Cincinnati. If you don't think Kasich heard anti-Streetcar views from Hartman, Monzel, Ghiz, Winburn, Deters, Brinkman, Finney, Chabot, Triantafilou & Boehner, then you should get your head out of your ass.
  • He's anti-Urban, plain and simple, something that is a growing theme for Republicans. It fits the divide of much of the political sphere. The Exurbs and Rural areas are where Republican voters lives so they are going to get more money from Republicans.
  • He's anti-Rail. He's against anything that does not make it easier for Republican voters drive their cars.  He's also is looking to promote the automotive industry and asphalt/concrete/road construction industries.  It is like he's living in 1955 and can't get his head out of his ass.
What is more insulting is how Kasich did this.  He didn't do what normal respectable Governors do when breaking bad news, namely call the Mayor and issue a press release.  Instead Kasich makes flippant and arrogant comments to the media right here in Cincinnati.  He comes into our town and insults us.  Kasich shows he is a jerk.  I'm not name calling, I'm being nice.  The term "jerk" is not the first one to come to mind, but I'm trying to be a little more classy.  I'm not above being crass (as I'm first to admit), but as I make this point, I'll try and be far more classy that he was.

If you are not convinced yet of Republicans out to ruin cities, then read Urbancincy's article documenting the efforts for the Republicans on the Ohio Senate Sub Committee on Transportation to directly defund the Cincinnati Streetcar.  Not just any streetcar or rail system, but Cincinnati's alone.  Guess who sits on the committee: Senator Gary Cates (R) of West Chester.  So, did he propose this effort to hurt Cincinnati? Who's ideas was it and where did it originate? To bad there is not more than one professional reporter in Columbus to ask these questions.  It would be even better if that newspaper would actually print anything about it.

CityKin points out evidence of Mr. AssfaultAsphalt's problem and what I would call corruption.  He makes a bad Sheriff to Kasich's Prince John, but the if the parallel fits, wear it.


  1. There is no way that this illegal constraint on Federal funds will stand up in a United States Federal Court. Mallory is very likely have the City challenge this budget amendment, probably in front of Judge Susan Dlott. Also, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is hopping man about teabagger republican extremists interference with rail projects. LaHood could intercede on the City’s behalf and hold up funds to the State due to KKKasich’s antics.

  2. If Gov. Kasich says he's slashing the budget because Ohio has a huge deficit and he believes the streetcar is wasteful, that's his motive. There's no need to demonize him. Disagree with him, civilly. Make your rational case for the streetcar. But quit the juvenile and hateful behavior most of your arguments center on because you can't bring yourself to respect people you disagree with. Your 4 reasons boil down to:

    1) He hates Cincinnati
    2) He's a political hack
    3) He hates cities
    4) He hates trains/public transportation.

    All four are absolutely ridiculous and show how emotional your whole argument is (versus being primarily rational). That sounds more like a "he's a booger-head" and less like "Gov. Kasich has his reasons for defunding, and I disagree with him." You'll be far more successful in getting people to side with you if you are rational.

  3. Ben,

    You fail to see the point or read the news article I linked to: Kasich never said he was cutting the streetcar to cut the deficit, he was doing it because he doesn't believe in it. "He doesn't want to live in Portland".

    Instead he wants to live in the Exurbs of Columbus, so he is increase the budget to build a new ramp in Delaware County off of I71.

    So, if you read, he also dumped funding for Brent Spence Bridge, but kept moneny a road near GE, just for Monzel. Almost all of the other Transportation money is going to non-urban roads and nearly only roads. Almost all of the Cincinnati AREA projects were cut. WE get nothing in the City.

    You can think all you want, but to deny why he is targeting Cincinnati and Streetcar is just foolish. He's not doing this to help Ohio, he is doing it to score points and screws his enemies.

    Also, if you don't like my tone, then why not go tell Kasich to act more like a governor, and less like a dictator and then he might EARN some respect.

  4. Griff-

    All I am saying is that respecting people you disagree with goes a long way towards convincing others of your cause. Yes, your article fails to mention the massive deficit specifically, but other articles about the same subject, such as the one today on "Somewhere Over the Rhine," list "fiscal balance" as the key issue.

    Believe it or not, the studies commissioned about the streetcar's possible economic impact are not all good. Portland's streetcar is highly over-hyped and does not product nearly the amount of impact some say it does, much like any mass transit. I lived downtown for 3 years, worked downtown, and rarely used my car. I loved it. But a streetcar is unnecessary. It's an 19th century solution to a 21st century problem, and government projects almost never are on time or are on budget, and projections of impact are almost never correct.

    Your four reasons boiled down exactly as I said, and blaming Kasich for your tone for being a political hack doesn't help your cause. Disagree with him on the economic impact or the fact we don't have the money. But prescribing him nefarious motives merely makes our political discourse worthless and divisive. I think you have great motives for Cincinnati, and I know we all want it to be better. I also think the streetcar is a horrible idea. That doesn't mean I think you are stupid or a hack or mean-spirited (although your language about those you disagree with can sometimes be).

  5. Shove your line of BS where the sun doesn't shine "Ben". King KKKasich of Wall Street is redirecting the streetcar funding elsewhere, namely to suburban highway construction he's not cutting the funds from the budget to save money, so there goes your first line of bull shit. And provide some links proving your 'Portland's streetcar is over-hyped and doesn't have the economic impact some say' bullshit or STFU.

    And respect KKKasich? Fuck that, the man has earned every bit of the contempt that 70% of Ohioans have for him.

  6. CincyCapell-

    Even if Gov. Kasich is redirecting the funding, you refuse to acknowledge that the decision could be made because a "suburban highway" (as if that is inherently bad) might be better for the economy than a streetcar. Worse yet, you obviously are incapable of acknowledging your own bias... Gov. Kasich is bad, and you are good because why again? And 70% of Ohioans, eh? How did he get elected?

    As for Portland's streetcar, the top 10 Google items ALL have a vested interest in hyping streetcars (they agree with you, and therefore highlight the good and dismiss the bad for streetcars). So I went straight to Portland's own website to look at the numbers:


    You'll notice here that there are only a few months in the last 2 years where tax revenue met budget. Scarier still, the Passenger Revenue (what people pay to use it) versus subsidies and general funds is generally only 33% of the revenue needed to operate it. Portland's streetcar is NOT self-sufficient. It never will be. Just like Amtrak, it will take significant tax money to keep it running.


    Again, the key statistic here is system costs/vehicle hour and operating costs/hour or /passenger. This continue to fluctuate, but ultimately are trending up. These systems not only don't pay for themselves, they get more expensive over time.

    So the big question then, considering that almost no public transit is ever self-sustaining, is whether it will create the "economic impact" to increase tax revenue enough to make it worth it.

    Many of the studies cite "$3.5 billion in development" around the Portland streetcar line. Any rational economist would ask "so would they have built there anyways?" and "Did the streetcar merely move development from one area of the city to another?" $3.5 billion does not mean any specific tax revenues. Development doesn't necessarily generate any of those taxes... business and people need to operate in a sustained fashion to develop a tax revenue increase.

    Looking at studies conducted by groups looking into them in Rhode Island


    and Charlotte


    we get a clearer picture:

    1) Portland’s ridership and revenues are higher than any other streetcar, including Seattle, despite not being self-sustaining. Is there something about the culture there that creates these conditions? We should be comparing our system to more average systems. Other streetcar systems are even less self-sustaining than Portland.

    2) Charlotte projects only moderate increases in retail space, family living units, etc from even the accelerated (best case scenario) development over a no-street car plan.

    3) Rhode Island's report also shows again how Portland is exceptional: its capital cost/annual ride is 1/4 that of every other city surveyed.

    I can go on and on, but the obvious question is whether reasonable people can disagree about the economic impact forecasts.

    They can disagree.

    Given the large capital investments and lack of self-sustenance by these systems, economic impact MUST make up for the difference AND we also must account for the opportunity cost of spending that capital elsewhere. Would we get BETTER impact from spending that money elsewhere? Which meteorologist will you believe? It seems you like the "its always sunny" because you want the streetcar for whatever reason.

    You seem to be unable to acknowledge that those that disagree have legitimate concerns, and frankly, you aren't very nice :). I doubt any of this analysis will matter to you or change your mind, but hopefully you'll see people can reasonably disagree without you shouting obscenities.

  7. Ben,

    You are failing to address a deeper issue. If you hold a streetcar-based capital investment to such scrutiny and doubt (ostensibly because you are simply fiscally responsible and not irrationally anti-transit), then why not hold ALL capital investments to the same level of scrutiny?

    This is where the TRAC system comes in. We could argue its legitimacy all day long, but at least it ATTEMPTS to assign an ROI to all projects equally. It was the first step towards rationalizing capital improvements in decades. The process was favorable to the streetcar.

    For you to argue against it with a clear conscience, you would have to produce your own rational appraisal system.

    There's also the plain fact that Kasich wants to re-appropriate the funds, not return them to taxpayers. You're glossing over this, and it's kind of the point of the entire blog post.


Don't be an idiot or your post will be deleted.