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  • Obama's Impending High Speed Spending Disaster

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

    Last month, after the governor-elects of Ohio and Wisconsin (John Kasich and Scott Walker respectively) each declined to waste any more taxpayer money on high-speed rail boondoggles, the Obama administration quickly announced they would take federal transportation dollars away from those states and give them to California’s high-speed rail project. As we noted at the time, even Californian Democratic lawmakers have dubbed the California project a Super Train to Nowhere. Finally, The Washington Post is also taking notice:

    Given that California’s system has attracted zero private capital and has been unable to guarantee any source – governmental or private – for almost half the cost of completion, the obvious risk is that the federal taxpayer will be on the hook for billions of dollars worth of railroad track that may never serve its intended high-speed purpose. But the Obama administration sought the funds, as part of the 2009 stimulus package, and Congress approved them – and so they must be spent. … At the very least, California should have to fill in its project’s economic and logistical blanks before any more money – from state taxpayers or the rest of us – is spent. Unfortunately, the rule right now seems to be spend first, answer questions later.

    The Heritage Foundation’s Ron Utt details the scope of Obama’s impending high-speed fiscal disaster:

    As the preceding analysis reveals, the potential for serious financial problems with an HSR program include:

    * Perpetual massive government subsidies and larger budget deficits;
    * Wasted money because few passengers will use the system even with the high per-passenger subsidies for operating and capital costs;
    * Service provided to only a small fraction of the traveling public in a handful of communities;
    * Additional burdens imposed on hard-pressed state governments, which will be required to match the perpetual federal subsidies to build the system;
    * Little or no difference in passenger mobility or environmental quality; and
    * The creation of high-paying, low-productivity union jobs for political supporters.

    While these deficiencies make the HSR program a winner for some of the President’s supporters and some Members of Congress, it will be a major loser for the taxpayers who will be forced to fund this new system.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Obama's Impending High Speed Spending Disaster

    1. Rich - Carlisle PA says:

      Haven't we seen this movie before? How many taxpayer dollars have been dumped into the "low speed rail" pit known as Amtrak? Many, many billions of course and nothing to show for it other than another Federal program train wreck.

      This is a classic example of what Dr. Friedman said about what happens when you are given the opportunity to spend someone else's money on someone else.

      "…if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government.”

    2. TonyfromOz, Rockhamp says:


      tut tut dear fellow, have you no shame?

      That's twice now.

      I wonder if anybody will 'get it' this time!


    3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Obama’s Impending High Speed Spending Disaster | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. -- Topsy.com

    4. George (Oldguy), Wes says:

      This President and liberals on both sides seem to think their job is to take all our money and give it to somebody else… both here and overseas!

      I am waiting to see if the Republicans in the new House will live up to their pre-election pledge. The 'Good Old Boys' in the party seem to be going soft on earmarks already and thinking about rolling spending back to only 2008 levels.

      They are mentioning big savings in ten years… peanuts this year.

      Maybe it is time to start looking for third party candidates!

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