Don’t miss Robert J. Samuelson’s column in today’s Washington Post. It’s entitled Calif. Rail Project Is High-Speed Pork. November 1, 2010.
It pretty much speaks for itself, so there is no need to paraphrase it at length. Suffice it to quote the opening paragraph and the conclusion, and here they are. The stuff in between is the substantiation of Samuelson’s critique. We recommend you read it in its entirety.
“Somehow, it’s become fashionable to think that high-speed trains connecting major cities will help ‘save the planet.’ They won’t. They’re a perfect example of wasteful spending masquerading as a respectable social cause. They would further burden already overburdened governments and drain dollars from worthier programs – schools, defense, research.”
* * * *
“High-speed rail would subsidize a tiny group of travelers and do little else. If states want these projects, they should pay all costs because there are no meaningful national gains. The administration’s championing and subsidies – with money that worsens long-term budget deficits – represent shortsighted, thoughtless government at its worst. It’s a triumph of politically expedient fiction over logic and evidence. With governments everywhere pressed for funds, how can anyone justify a program whose main effect will simply be to make matters worse?
If you want to read the entire article, and we think you should, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/31/AR2010103104260.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions