Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Friday, February 11, 2011


High-speed rail: Obama's gift that nobody wants

High-speed rail: Obama's gift that nobody wants


Examiner Editorial

02/10/11 8:05 PM

 Vice President Biden, right, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, left, walk to a train at Union Station heading to Philadelphia.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

 Vice President Biden, right, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, left, walk to a train at Union Station heading to Philadelphia.   AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Obama sent his vice president, "Amtrak Joe" Biden, to Philadelphia's 30th Street rail station earlier this week to announce the administration's latest gift to the American people:   A six-year, $53 billion government subsidy for the mass transit industry in order to give "80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years."   And therein lies the fundamental problem - Obama, Biden and liberal Democrats in general can't resist giving the rest of us things we don't want.   And they almost always use our money to pay for them, whether we like it or not.   Nothing better illustrates this phenomenon than their obsession with forcing Americans out of the private passenger vehicles that enable them to go where they choose and into government-run transit systems like Amtrak, San Francisco's BART and Washington, D.C.'s Metro subway that take them where and when politicians and bureaucrats think they should go.

Transportation expert Ken Orski claims Obama's high-speed rail program is all but "dead-on-arrival" on Capitol Hill.   House Republicans will zero out the program as a wasteful subsidy of a 19th century transportation technology that cannot compete with 21st century commercial airlines for long-distance travel.   House Transportation Committee chairman Rep. John Mica, R-Fla.,  put it well in observing that "rather than focusing on the Northeast Corridor, the most congested corridor in the nation ... the administration continues to squander limited taxpayer dollars on marginal projects. This is like giving Bernie Madoff another chance at handling your investment portfolio."   The program's prospects are further dimmed by the fact that the new Republican governors of Wisconsin and Ohio don't want to participate in it, and Gov. Rick Scott, Florida's new chief executive, is also expected to decline the subsidies, even though his state has previously participated.

The fundamental problem facing Obama, Biden and others who favor big government subsidies for mass transit systems is that the vast majority of Americans prefer private cars and commercial airplanes over tax-supported trains, be they of the high-speed or light-rail variety.   Amtrak's chronic inability to make a profit reflects this reality, and it is even more evident in data comparing public mass transit and private passenger cars in daily commuting.   Contrary to the claims of high-speed rail and mass transit enthusiasts, the presence of such systems does not lure drivers out of their cars and into trains.   Between 1980 and 2009, for example, U.S. Census Bureau data cited by Wendell Cox in a recent Heritage Foundation study showed a 12.7 percent increase in the number of drivers in cars in three large metropolitan areas that are considered prime markets for mass transit - Baltimore, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.    The same data showed a 19.5 decrease in the number of people using mass transit rail and bus systems.  Transportation will improve in every respect when Washington stops trying to force people to do what they don't want to do.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home


June 2021   May 2021   April 2021   March 2021   February 2021   January 2021   December 2020   November 2020   October 2020   September 2020   August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe