Of all the ways
The money delivered by President
Almost every passenger rail service in this country bleeds red ink
and requires massive public subsidies, from
That didn't discourage
"An attractive and competitive transportation alternative for residents and visitors" is what the government calls it. An extravagant fantasy is what it really is.
Fast trains are very cool, and these babies will streak along at average speeds of 168 mph to 186 mph. Unfortunately, such a high-tech rail system can't pay for itself.
Ridership depends on friendly ticket pricing. Consequently, every mile traveled on the bullet train will end up being bankrolled by public dollars.
Thirteen years ago, when the debate was in high gear, a national
transit consultant released a 55-page report predicting that a
high-speed railway between
Unlike the U.S. government, states can't print their own money.
Despite the manifest drawbacks, the dream of connecting
Over the years, the project has had avid proponents in both parties,
An exception was
In those days, supporters touted high-speed rail as a way of easing highway congestion and spurring commerce between the state's key urban centers. Now, with unemployment sky-high, the bullet train is being hyped more as a jobs program.
There's no doubt that building a railway will put thousands of people to work for a few years. But, once the project is finished, it is estimated to leave only 600 permanent jobs.
Weigh those against the enormous long-term cost of maintaining and subsidizing a 324-mile train system, which will necessitate cutting or scrapping other state programs that currently employ hundreds of workers.
To be sure, high-speed rail will be a windfall for the consultants,
developers and builders involved in the construction phases. The state
agency handing out the contracts is the
If you know anything about the inside politics of mass transit, the
thought of entrusting
True, many capital projects being launched by recovery funds -- bridges, roads, levies -- will provide only temporary boosts to local economies. Yet you can also argue that, for somebody who's out of work, a construction job lasting six months or a year is better than no job at all.
The problem with the bullet-train boondoggle is that the back-end
costs will smother the front-end benefits, and create a perpetual
sucking drain on
We'd be better off using the money to pave potholes.
America Rides off Into the Sunset
Victor Davis Hanson
National leaders have only long-term self-interests and so seek to expand their influence whenever they can. Obama better understand that. As such, a world without strong U.S. leadership really would become a far more dangerous place where the strong do as they please and the weak obey as they must.
The Future of the U.S. Economy: 2050
Think back to 1967. The job you have today may not even have existed. The Internet, and all the jobs that have come with it, were decades away. The Detroit automakers were dominant. Quality of life was different, too. The lifestyle of the average American may change just as much from 2010 to 2050 as it did from 1967 to 2006. The economy will especially undergo change.
Who to Blame for the Financial Crisis
Mortimer B. Zuckerman
Class warfare, American style, is being waged between Main Street and Wall Street. With President Obama and Democrats in Congress turning up the populist heat against Wall Street, the financial community is losing. Its back is up against the wall. But the administration is also getting its share of the public's rage. So, Who's really to blame?
Fort Hood Report Reveals Deeper Dilemma
There were a couple of points that immediately stood out in the Pentagon's report on the shooting that left 13 dead and 43 wounded at Fort Hood in November. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton made note of them this month in the first of two congressional hearings on what went wrong.
Deficits in a Growing Defense Budget
The Obama administration released its second defense budget on February 1 amidst talk of rebuilding the American defense establishment. But Todd Harrison, a defense budget expert, says while the administration's reform rhetoric is laudable, its defense spending plan doesn't allocate money to seriously rebuild the military to deal with such threats as irregular warfare.
Should the TSA Trust in Full-Body Scanners
The Heritage Foundation's James Jay Carafano recently argued that scanners will help stop terrorists, while FlyersRights.org's Kate Hanni wrote that they won't work. A sampling of your thoughts
'People Movers' Ease Airport Hassles
Dulles inaugurated its new billion-dollar 'people mover,' and it should make life a lot easier for you whether you live in the area, visit the area, or have to change planes there. Dulles joins a number of other airports around the United States -- and the world -- that offer an easier and more convenient alternative to trekking through endless corridors or schlepping on and off buses
Our Census Reflects our Confusion
It is time to take another census, as we Americans do every 10 years, which means it is time again to argue about the census. If the census is designed to take a snapshot of our nation, the initial reaction looks like a family feud.
(C) 2010 Carl Hiaasen