Obama's Super-Train in Vain!


Jeebus H. Christ, what is it with the obsession over high-speed rail—best defined as trains that will carry people almost as fast as cars, though less conveniently?

Here's President Obama's latest bit, offered up by his vice president Amtrak Joe Biden, on the matter:

President Barack Obama will ask Congress next week to approve a six-year, $53 billion program for construction of a national high-speed and intercity rail network, Vice PresidentJoe Biden said.

"There are key places where we cannot afford to sacrifice as a nation—one of which is infrastructure," Biden said in a speech today at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Obama submits his fiscal 2012 budget to Congress on Feb. 14.

Who the hell mistakes high-speed rail, which is everywhere and always a massive sop for government subsidies (no high-speed rail anywhere in the world fully pays for itself), for "infrastructure"? And who has missed high or low speed passenger rail, exactly, since the 19th century robber barons' legacies finally went belly up in the early '70s and led to the creation of the generally execrable Amtrak?

In his SOTU, Obama promised to bring high-speed rail to 80 percent of the American population within the next 25 years. Is this his way of subtly pushing for mass suicide to cut entitlement spending? What's wrong with cheaper and more flexible planes and buses? Are they a little too 20th century? Too affordable? 

Nobody claims that Joe Biden is smart, so his backing of this foolishness is merely par for his course. But the next time anybody you know talks about how goddamned brilliant and sharp and yadda yadda Obama is (because, you know, just like that brainiac George W. Bush, he's got a couple of Ivy League degrees), please ask them what is so effing intelligent about high-speed rail.

And on that admittedly sour note, here's 3 Reasons Obama's High-Speed Rail Will Go Nowhere Fast: