Vice President Joe Biden recently announced that $53 billion will be spent by the federal government over the next six years, on top of $10.5 billion already spent, to promote construction of a national high-speed, intercity passenger rail network. The president said in his State of the Union address that he wants to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years. This, apparently is the Obama administration’s answer to cutting federal spending – Amtrak on steroids.
If $64.5 billion will be spent to promote it, we should wonder how many more billions will be spent to actually construct it, and how many billions beyond that to maintain it. It seems to me that the private sector would have picked up on this one if it were such a great idea. Private business wouldn’t touch this loser with a barge pole.
Will customers abandon their cars and flock in the billions to the new high speed rail system? I hardly think so; probably not even in the millions. Amtrak doesn’t have enough passengers now to keep it going without constant government bailouts and subsidies.
“There are key places where we cannot afford to sacrifice as a nation, one of which is infrastructure," Biden declared. Only a conniving politician could try to make the case that we need to spend billions of taxpayer dollars we don’t have on new high speed rail infrastructure or we’ll sacrifice as a nation; it’s not lavish unnecessary spending; it’s a sacrifice if we don’t do this.
"We need to invest in a modern rail system that will help connect communities, reduce congestion and create quality, skilled manufacturing jobs that cannot be outsourced," he added. Only a slippery fork-tongued politician could say with a straight face that it is necessary to invest taxpayer money in this fashion to create outsource proof jobs; it’s not profligate spending; it’s an investment in jobs.
This new adventure is obviously not about necessary rail service for passengers in need; it’s about spending money for jobs, and Joe Biden wants to take credit for creating new American jobs where there were no jobs before with your money.
In a pitch to the TV cameras, Mr. Biden claimed that, since he came to
as a lawmaker, he’s taken 7,900 safe and convenient round trips on Amtrak to and from his home in Washington . Let’s, see; that amounts to one round trip every day, seven days a week; 365 days a year for 21.64 years. Delaware
Do politicians exaggerate sometimes?