Obama’s Crazy Train

President Obama just doesn’t seem to understand that the nation is in dire straits in terms of fiscal policy and that government make-work projects are not the way to get our economy going.

The president released his $53 billion plan for so-called “high-speed” rail although the top speeds of the trains would be nowhere near the speeds of near 200 mph reached by European high speed trains. Transportation analyst Randal O’Toole has previously debunked Obama’s boondoggle for the Rio Grande Foundation.

Oh, and to all you rail fans out there who think this is a great idea, remember that these trains would be funded out of “General Fund” dollars (more debt from China) while our roads are paid for (by and large) by the people who use them in the form of gas taxes and other user-fees. I’d love to see the federal government get out of the road funding business and leave it to the states and/or private companies, but the fact is that roads mostly pay for themselves while these trains will be budgetary black holes.

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5 Replies to “Obama’s Crazy Train”

  1. Randal O’Toole is a highway lobbyist, so of course he’s going to say some thing bad about railroads.

    As for roads, they are mostly paid for by property taxes & would still be there regardless of the automobile.

  2. Passenger trains do not pay their way, even for heavily traveled commuter services in large metro areas.

    Further, is there something special about trains, other than the rail unions, that suggests bus or plane service is inadequate?

    Finally, if there really is a market for rail passenger service, then let the private sector have at it.

    Does the NM Rail Runner operating revenues begin to cover the operating costs?

    So why spend billions on rail passenger service that the tax payers will have to pay for the operating costs?

    An alternative is that offered by Ben “Helicopter” Bernanke who suggested just dropping money from the sky to restart our economy.


  3. Guess what George, roads don’t pay their way either!

    Though Rail Runner does have better cost recovery than bus service.

    1. Fine, Andrew. Let’s get Washington (and preferably the states) completely out of the transportation business. We’ll see if the free market chooses roads or rails. In the meantime, we need to stop Obama from spending $53 billion that we simply don’t have.

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