Yesterday I told the story of two very progressive hacks by the name of Lautenberg and Menendez. It seems they could care less what the state they were elected to represent thinks and will do whatever they want. They sat in a dark room with Amtrak and hatched a deal to use Amtrak’s (read as Federal Money) to get the ball rolling on a commuter tunnel between New York and New Jersey. They and an Amtrak official made a big deal out of the announcement and even talked about high-speed rail. Noting that the infrastructure of the current tunnels and bridges was too old to support high-speed rail. For the life of me I could not figure out how Amtrak was going to pay for the tunnel and high-speed rail.
That quandary was answered today when VP Joe Biden (who regularly rides the trains we pay for) announced that even though we are trillions in debt and running the biggest deficit on record they found a little bit of money to help build more really fast trains to get Biden to work faster. Reuters reports it this way.
U.S. plans to inject $53 billion into passenger rail
By David WarnerReutersupdated 2/8/2011 3:59:12 PM ET 2011-02-08T20:59:12
PHILADELPHIA — Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced an ambitious $53 billion U.S. program to build new high-speed rail networks and make existing ones faster over the next six years.
But the plan drew immediate fire from majority Republicans in the House of Representatives, who said building high-speed rail requires private investment rather than a government plan.
Biden, who estimated he has ridden Amtrak trains between Washington and his home in Wilmington, Delaware, some 7,900 times, made a strong pitch for rail transportation to enable the United States to compete and lead internationally.
“This is about seizing the future,” he said, making the announcement at Philadelphia’s busy 30th Street station with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The United States should follow the example of Japan and China and build high-speed rail, Biden said. “If we do not, you tell me how America is going to be able to lead the world in the 21st century,” he said.
President Barack Obama’s budget for fiscal year 2012, to be unveiled next week, includes $8 billion for the plan. The rest of the money would be allocated over the six-year time period.
Obama has said he wants to target investments in areas such as infrastructure while reducing spending to tackle the budget deficit.
Under the initiative, the Department of Transportation would choose corridors for new projects and increase U.S. use of the passenger rails.
Republicans in the House criticized the program and suggested it could face problems getting legislative approval.
In a joint statement, Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica and Railroads Subcommittee Chairman Bill Shuster expressed “extreme reservations” regarding the plan.
“This is like giving Bernie Madoff another chance at handling your investment portfolio,” Mica said in the statement on the Transportation Committee’s website, referring to the financier serving a 150-year prison sentence for running an estimated $65 billion Ponzi scheme.
Shuster said an unsound rail project “just prolongs the inevitable by subsidizing a failed Amtrak monopoly that has never made a profit or even broken even.
“Government won’t develop American high-speed rail. Private investment and a competitive market will.”
Biden’s announcement follows Monday’s news that Amtrak, the United States’ largest passenger rail service, plans a $13.5 billion commuter rail project connecting New York City and New Jersey, reviving an idea rejected late last year by New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, as too expensive.
The project became a lightning rod in the run-up to the November 2010 election, pitting those calling for more federal infrastructure spending against those who said such projects were too costly.
Advocates say U.S. investment in high-speed rail lags many other countries and point to China, which plans to invest $451 billion to $602 billion in its high-speed rail network between 2011 and 2015, according to the China Securities Journal.
Folks this should not even be a discussion. We subsidize many of our rail lines. Big taxpayer dollars at almost every layer of government go to subsidizing rail lines.
Here is a nice easy chart to show you how much you pay so VP Joe Biden can get to work with no hassles
Federal transportation funding 1971-2001
Remember this is way back beginning in 1971. We are paying for a loser here folks. There is no profit.
Now the President and his team want to spend more money on trains very few people want to ride. I read a story about high-speed rail line between Iowa City and Chicago. Why? Rail boondoggles are nothing new. Anybody try to ride the train from Philadelphia to Atlantic City? You can’t it was a miserable failure and the killed it. Making it all the more ironic that they chose Philadelphia to announce this spend fest. Maybe Rails to Trails will make it a Bicycle path and people will actually use it. That might actually be a nice ride.
Look folks you are being conned by these guys.. These two stories are not a coincidence. The Department of Transportation, The President and Vice President, The two Senators from New Jersey and anyone else who looks you in the eye and says rail lines are a great idea. Call your representatives and ask how much it will cost to get Biden to work. Let them know it is not worth it.