Remember that high-speed rail project that Governor Rick Scott rejected? The bullet train between Tampa and Orlando would've been the first of its kind in the country, made possible by $2.4 billion in federal funds.But Scott returned the cash to Washington, prompting a high-ranking Florida Department of Transportation official to take his talents and his train to Qatar.
Now, you'll be happy to know Scott's short-sighted obstinance helped solve the federal budget crisis and avert a government shutdown last week!
"I am proud to have brought this waste to the attention of those in Washington," Scott said in a press release. "These funds should either be returned to taxpayers as tax cuts or applied to reducing the burden that our national debt is passing to future generations."
This self-congratulatory statement is based on an article in the Huffington Post, which says the federal budget deal reached last week in Congress slashed $1.5 billion in funding for a national high-speed rail system. The article specifically mentions the $2.4 billion Scott returned to Washington, saying "it appears a good chunk of it will go towards deficit reduction."
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Clearly, in a deal that cut $38 billion from the federal budget, Florida's high-speed rail money was the clincher. Why shouldn't Scott claim credit? He deprived the citizens of Florida of convenient mass transportation just as gas prices hit $4 a gallon.