During my morning peruse through the paper, I found a shocking headline: Bullet train cost estimates rise to $98.5 billion.
I wasn’t surprised at the cost; it’s well-established that “infrastructure spending” is a fancy way of saying “giant black money hole.” (Hooray for inflation to boot!) I’m just surprised that California hasn’t nixed this one to allot spending towards something even sillier, like banning infrequent nose-blowers. Even my leftist classmates concede that California, Florida, etc. do not need high speed rail and they sometimes entertain that it may not be worth the effort.
I’m really intrigued by the high speed rail obsession. It’s patently obvious – to me, at least – that it’s a terrible idea. Our cities are spread apart further than in Europe, we can’t run freight trains on high speed rails so it would be an enormous investment, the one we have now is a money pit that doesn’t even go fast, etc. The most satisfactory explanation I’ve heard is that this agenda is President Obama’s monument to himself. Eisenhower had the highways and Obama wants the railways.