Bullet-train boondoggle yields a Cabinet-level delusion

Dec. 9, 2012

By Chris Reed

A House committee hearing Thursday at which Republicans vowed to use their majority to block new federal funding for California’s bullet-train train wreck produced this astounding passage in The Washington Post:

“We’re not giving up on high-speed rail,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testified before a congressional committee. “The president will include funding in his budget. I think we’ll get there with public money, but in the absence of that we’ll get there with private money.”

Oh, yeah, private investors are salivating at the chance to be part of California’s grand experiment. That’s why they’ve been lining up to help Sacramento for four years.

Not!

What is it about trains that so deludes people on the left?

They talk themselves into thinking inflexible, costly light-rail is what poor people want, not flexible, cheap buses.

They talk themselves into believing a bullet train that by necessity has to have few stops (or it won’t be a bullet train) can be akin to a mass-transit subway in its level of use.

And now they think that private investors will look at their fantasies and see vast substance to them.

George Will is right. LaHood “should take a high-speed train into retirement.”



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