Thursday, December 09, 2010


As everyone marvels at the final days of the Worst Congress Ever the administration has thrown the first bomb of the year--at Ohio and Wisconsin:
The nearly $1.2 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail projects that newly elected governors in Ohio and Wisconsin rejected has been redirected to other states, with New York receiving up to $7.3 million of the amount.

The money was redistributed to states in proportion to their initial high-speed rail awards, with California receiving up to $624 million, Florida in line for up to $342.3 million, and Washington State getting up to another $161.5 million.
Welcome to doing business the Chicago way, guys. Of course both will be hammered in TV ads beginning in 2012 for turning away these important boondoggle funds.

And yes, high speed rail is a boondoggle and for one main reason--no competition. Unlike the original rail and airline networks the government helped fund, HSR will feature only one track, one line, between two points. There will be no Delta versus Eastern, no New York Central versus Pennsylvania RR to spur better service and on-time performance. All the employees will be either state or federal government based and all decisions will be made by politicians or politically-controlled boards. The entire thing will be a black hole of tax funds.

Not to mention this kind of thing, which occurred in Memphis in 2008.

But maybe a miracle will happen and it will be the most successful program ever. Meanwhile the Worst Congress Ever will end the year bloviating about money wasted given to the rich in the form of "tax cuts" through extending the current tax rate, which otherwise would have caused a tax increase. And the president, who campaigned vigorously against tax cuts for the rich is now for them in the most vigorous way (even though they aren't tax cuts) to the point of demeaning those in his own party who disagree, causing outrage. All while actually raising taxes on the poor. You figure it out.

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