Remember all of the hoopla earlier this year when President Obama gave your money away to various states to build high speed trains? Well, sanity has prevailed, at least in two states. Last week, the newly elected Republican governors of Ohio and Wisconsin said no thank you to $1.2 billion, and “returned” it to the federal government.
Given the size of our deficit, one would have thought that the money would have remained in the government’s coffers, but, no. The money was “redistributed” to other states who had already received money to build high-speed rails, and, “lucky” for us in Florida, we will now receive all but 10% of the funds necessary to build our high-speed rail from Orlando to Tampa.
I did a post earlier this year on Obama’s “gift” to Florida, but in the interim, two things have happened. In November, the voters in Tampa rejected a one cent increase in the sales tax that was to be used to pay for the infrastructure to get from the “Tampa” station to, well, anyplace actually in Tampa. And second, Florida’s Republican governor elect, Rick Scott, has said he first wants a feasibility study to determine whether the project can provide a “return to taxpayers”. Imagine that…an elected official who is concerned about the decades of taxpayer subsidies that will be necessary to keep this boondoggle afloat if it is built.
And, Mr. Scott has reason to be concerned.
The problem is that high-speed rail systems almost always run over budget and end up heavily subsidized. Only two segments of two such railways in the world, in France and Japan, have broken even, and they are in high-density areas…[emphasis supplied]
But, these facts haven’t deterred the fiscally sound State of California, also a recipient of federal high-speed rail funds. Their high-speed rail authority recently approved construction of that state’s first venture into high-speed rail…the 65 mile stretch between the booming cities of Borden and Corcoran, at an estimated cost of $4.15 billion. So, not only will your federal tax dollars pay for this nonsense, but, when California goes bankrupt, as it most assuredly will, your federal tax dollars will pay to keep it running.