• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • The Obama Stimulus Super Train to Nowhere

    Obama Replaces Costly High-Speed Rail Plan With High-Speed Bus Plan

    Yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood rescinded nearly $1.2 billion in stimulus funds from Wisconsin and Ohio after the states’ respective newly-elected governors, Scott Walker and John Kasich respectively, said they would follow through on their campaign promise not to waste their states’ money on high speed rail. So what does the Obama administration plan to do with this $1.2 billion? Pay for unemployment benefits? Balance the budget? Pay down the debt? No, of course not. They are going to spend it of course.

    Where? On other worthless projects like the Super Train to Nowhere in California. After the California High Speed Rail Authority approved construction for the first 65 mile leg of California’s project, The Los Angeles Times reported:

    Costing at least $4.15 billion, the segment would run from the tiny town of Borden to Corcoran, an area hit so hard by the recession and agriculture declines that it has been dubbed the New Appalachia. Stations would be built in Fresno and Hanford.

    Included in the plan are tracks, station platforms, bridges and viaducts, which would elevate the line through urban areas. The initial section, however, would not be equipped with maintenance facilities, locomotives, passenger cars or an electrical system necessary to power high-speed trains.

    Critics of the initial segment selection, including Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced), have dubbed it a “train to nowhere.”

    $4.15 billion. For just 65 miles of track. That will not even be able to support actual high speed rail. Between a town that is so small the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t even keep official population estimates (Borden) and another that is best known as the home of Charles Manson. No wonder even Democrats are calling California’s super train a “train to nowhere.”

    And now McClatchy is reporting that the Obama administration is going to give California another $624 million to waste on this boondoggle. How much track will that $624 million buy? Not much. The first 65 mile of track already used up virtually all of Obama’s $2 billion in stimulus funds. The project’s full phase is supposed to extend 500 miles and cost at least $43 billion at a bare minimum.

    “No other state is as ready, as able, or as determined to develop a high-speed rail system in the near future,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told McClatchy. If the Californai project is the Super Train’s best hope, the Obama switch to Super Busses can’t be far away.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to The Obama Stimulus Super Train to Nowhere

    1. LibertyAtStake, Alex says:

      So, basically, this rebate to the taxpayers – courtesy of Governors Walker and Kasich – more than covers the tax deal costs. If BHO is serious about inking the deal, he should make sure this rebate is redirected to cover the costs of his freebies in the deal. Porkulus was always a Donkey Party slush fund anyway.

      "Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive"

    2. TonyfromOz, Coomera, says:

      A line from Monty Python's 'Life Of Brian' comes to mind.

      Conn, you're a very naughty boy!

      Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

    3. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    4. Corey Mann Leavenwor says:

      My thanks and gratitude to the two governors. Also it will be a great day in the union when Americans wake up and vote the spenders out of office.

    5. Mike Mancuso, San Jo says:

      I live in Northern California and I have been writing to newspapers and politicians for years telling them how stupid this idea was. Governor Schwarzenegger recently gave the group pushing this ten million dollars to continue their work. They were shocked at the amount and kept pushing and promoting. Without that, they might have just folded their tent. Then, incredibly, Californians voted on bonds to finance this boondoggle and here we are.

      If they could build this and load my Expedition for Fresno or Los Angeles, I would vote for it, This not being in the cards, just make sure it does not block traffic on Interstates 5 or 99.

      I have given up on California voters. They voted for progressives pretty much from top to bottom in the last election. Still, with the help of Heritage and others, we keep up the good fight.

    6. Pingback: Morning Bell: Liberals Leave The Reservation | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    7. Norma in Nebraska says:

      This is "moving hotel" is going to be pretty expensive housing for the homeless and/or the unemployed when California decides it cannot afford to do the upkeep and maintain this wonderful boondoggle down the road. Of course, if they can weasel money out of the Feds on a yearly basis, then all is swell for the folks on our far west side!

      Ray LaHood should have to go out and get a REAL job to discover just how hard it is for the average American family when he just randomly hikes up the fuel tax on a gallon of gas. Then he might be a better steward of OUR money. Of course, he suffers from the same disease that almost all of our elected officials in Washington have . . . commonly known as the "spendaholic." Perhaps we should send them all to treatment in the 12-step program. It may not cure them but it sure couldn't hurt to try!

    8. Bobbie says:

      If transportation is needed, let the private sector handle it, not some government special interest….

    9. Barbara says:

      Have all the Senators and Congressmen and women along with the President LOST THEIR MINDS.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.