Friday, February 11, 2011

$53 billion for high-speed rail?

President Obama is calling for a six-year, $53 billion spending plan for high-speed rail as he seeks to use infrastructure spending to jump-start job creation.

An initial $8 billion in spending will be part of the budget plan Mr. Obama is set to release Monday. If Congress approves the plan, the money would go toward developing or improving trains that travel up to 250 miles per hour, and connecting existing rail lines to new projects. The White House wouldn’t say where the money for the rest of the program would come from, though it’s likely Mr. Obama would seek funding in future budgets or transportation bills.

Mr. Obama‘s push for high-speed-rail spending is part of his broad goal of creating jobs in the short term and increasing American competitiveness for the future through new spending on infrastructure, education and innovation.

The choice is between (1) reducing the deficit in order to preserve the economic integrity and strength of the U.S. economy, or (2) spending billions of borrowed Chinese dollars on job creation.

Obama announces support for both, alternately, depending on the day of the week.

That's why there's no sense of any economic leadership.

By the way - - other than a few upper middle class and wealthy commuters in the Boston to New York to Philadelphia to D.C. corridor (such as Joe Biden), is there any evidence that anyone anywhere will use any high speed rail network in numbers sufficient to justify construction?

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