High-speed rail for all—this White House seems to have become obsessed.
Everything the President talks about when it comes to spending and energy involves high-speed rail. What he fails to mention is that many states don't want it.
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Vice President Joe Biden introduced the administration's plan recently that would send $53 billion to high-speed rail projects. According to The Wall Street Journal, Florida is in line to get nearly $2.5 billion for a track between Tampa and Orlando.But guess what—Gov. Rick Scott is saying, “Thanks but no thanks.” Scott predicts taxpayers in the Sunshine State would have to fork over an additional $3 billion initially, but there's also upkeep costs for such trains which could top a half billion dollars.
That's $2.5 billion that gets to be used to pay off the deficit, right?
Wrong.It's going to California, or New York or Washington or Maryland. These states are all lining up to get the extra money.By the way - California already got billions after the governors of Ohio and Wisconsin said no to the high-speed rail funds.Another reason states don't want to do this is because they think no one will use it. The paper points out it would actually be cheaper to drive between Tampa and Orlando - and would only add a few minutes to your travel time.Back in 1999, when this issue first came about, a ticket between Los Angeles and San Francisco was to cost $55 dollars one way. Now Forbes predicts it could be closer to $200 dollars.If I was to buy a ticket on Southwest it would only cost about $150 dollars, and get me there quicker.
Then there's Amtrak, which is already a federally funded rail-line. The government has its hands full trying to keep it afloat - and they've been quite unsuccessful at it.
Amtrak has never made a profit - losing money every year it has existed - maybe because the average employee earns $91 thousand annually.In fact for every rider it carries it loses $32.High-speed rail has become a punch-line for Republicans furious over this administration's spending habits.States don't want it, riders can't afford it—and yet the money keeps flowing.Stop!Fix the system you already have - and let states make their own transportation decisions.