Government Spending

Florida Gov. Scott Rejects Flawed Orlando to Tampa High-Speed Rail Plan

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott has pulled the plug on the 84-mile Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail project, rejecting $2.4 billion in federal funding for what has been touted as a $2.7 billion project. But according to a Reason Foundation study released in January (on which Scott relied), there was a high risk that the actual cost could have been as much as twice that amount—with the difference having to come from Florida taxpayers. In addition, since the official ridership projections were straight out of fantasyland, there was a high likelihood of the state being stuck providing operating subsidies, as in most of the existing high-speed rail projects overseas. Yet if the state accepted the $2.4 billion from the federal government and built the line, it would be stuck operating it—or else required to give back the $2.4 billion in, by then, sunk costs. So Scott made a responsible decision to protect Florida's taxpayers, consistent with his campaign rhetoric and his other actions since taking over in January.

The Tampa Tribune's Ted Jackovics reports:

Gov. Rick Scott's decision to turn down nearly $2.4 billion in federal money for a high-speed rail project that would link Tampa and Orlando has been met with criticism from members of both parties.

Scott this morning justified his decision saying "the truth is that this project would be far too costly to taxpayers, and I believe the risk far outweighs the benefits."

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement that Florida's money will go to other states "that are enthusiastic to receive Florida's funding."

Scott did not wait for Florida's Department of Transportation study on expected ridership and revenues.

Instead, he said he made his decision on three points: The price to build the project could cost Florida taxpayers up to $3 billion; ridership and revenue projections could be overly optimistic and if the federal government decides to shut down the project, the state would have to return the money.

Those claims came from a January report from the Reason Foundation, a Libertarian think tank.

"President Obama's high-speed rail program is not the answer to Florida's economic recovery," Scott said.

"Rather than investing in a high-risk rail project, we should be focusing on improving our ports, rail and highway infrastructure to be in a position to attract the increased shipping that will result when the Panama Canal is expanded when the free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama are ratified and with the expansion of the economies of central and south America," Scott said.

The Orlando Sentinel's Aaron Deslatte and Dan Tracy add:

Scott's decision likely means those dollars will be rerouted to California and other states investing in a high-speed rail network that Obama has likened to the national highway system. Washington state, in fact, sent out a press release asking for the money.

Scott had previously said he didn't want the state spending any money on the rail line, which required $280 million in matching funds. But backers of the project have said that the consortiums of companies set to bid on the line had indicated a willingness to put up their own money in return for a contract.

News of Scott's decision quickly rippled through Washington and Tallahassee, where lawmakers had approved the project during a special session in late 2009. Some lawmakers grumbled that Scott couldn't unilaterally overturn their decision.

Critics are bad-mouthing Scott's decision, arguing that the least he could have done was wait to see if any of the private-sector firms wanting to make proposals would have guaranteed to absorb any and all cost overruns and to sign a long-term agreement guaranteeing no operating subsidies. That has to be a pipedream.

On cost overruns, the state capital has been overrun with high-speed rail lobbyists the last few months, and I'm sure the Governor's office and the Florida Department of Transportation have a pretty good idea, by now, how much (and how little) actual risk the private sector would be willing to take on.

And no matter what an overly-optimistic company might agree to, if its special-purpose entity for Florida high-speed rail got in seriously over its head and walked away from the project after spending, say $3 billion (including the feds' $2.4 billion), what options would the state then have? With no way of repaying the feds' money—now turned into concrete and steel—it would have no choice but to spend state tax money finishing the project and then subsidizing its operations.

And on operating subsidies, the much larger California high-speed rail project has been testing that premise for the past two years. The ballot measure the voters approved in November 2008 to authorize $9 billion in general-obligation bonds for that project spelled out in black and white that voter approval was conditional on there being zero operating subsidies. But the private firms interested in building and operating the high-speed rail project are telling the California High-Speed Rail Authority that they cannot get financing unless the state provides them with "revenue guarantees." And what, precisely, is that? If the traffic and revenue on the rail line are below the forecasts on which the financing was based, the state would agree to make up the difference. In other words, operating subsidies. If the private sector required that protection in order to fund the California project, whose ridership potential is far higher than that in Florida, there is no way they would go unprotected in Florida.

So Gov. Rick Scott was on firm ground in judging that the risks to Florida taxpayers were simply too great if this project went forward. He made the right decision. 

NEXT: Mitch Daniels vs. ObamaCare

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  1. Let me be clear

    Governor Scott, your shenanigans could cost me the election!

    1. Out of curiosity, if you’re not gonna use that $2.4 billion, could you give us our money back in tax cuts or somethin’?

      1. No! It must go to other, more irresponsible states!

        1. Back door bailout.

          1. It’s true, I was thinking of you.

            1. Cal has gone from golden state to universal punchline in under a decade.

              1. I’ll be back.

                1. “I’ll be back.”
                  Maybe, but with the Dem strangle-hold on the government, I’m short CA.

      2. That’s going into my when the shit hits the fan fund. You have any idea how difficult it is to flee a country when the peasants are finally on to your ass?

    2. Hey! Isn’t that what Mudhead’s father said in “High School Madness” from “Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers”?

      1. Close but no cigar. That was Porgie Tyrebiter’s dad.

  2. Gov. Scott’s been impressing me to some degree on the budget. He’s not perfect, but he’s far better than Crist. Mind you, that’s not saying much.

    1. A tanned pet rock would be better than Crist On a Cracker.

      1. Except for the tan. In that respect, only the Hamilton exceeds Crist.

        Crist, by the way, went to a prominently sleazy plaintiffs’ firm.

        1. I dunno, The Boehner gives The Hamilton in the tan dept. Incidentally, how much revenue will Boehner’s tan generate for ObamaCare?

          1. Really, how I take anything you say seriously when you fail to acknowledge the tanning supremacy of the Hamiltonian Tan?

            1. I concede the supremacy, Mr. Lib. Still, The Boehner Tan is quite impressive.

              1. Well, sure, as a lesser, merely mortal tan.

  3. But but but……high speed rail!!!!!!!!!! It’s the answer!!!!!!

    1. $2.4 billion may not seem like much, but it all adds up…

      So, just something to consider in the suggestion box, but one way to invest in human capital and the future? Is by givin’ us our goddamn money back.

    2. “But but but……high speed rail!!!!!!!!!! It’s the answer!!!!!!”

      Still searching for a question.

  4. Good for the Governor!

    BTW, APD undercover officers drank shots just before Eagle Bar raid

    Two undercover Atlanta police officers assigned to an investigation at the Atlanta Eagle downed shot after shot of the potent liqueur Jagermeister even as their colleagues were preparing to raid the Midtown gay bar, according to information obtained in a lawsuit against the city.

    Three undercover officers were already in the Atlanta Eagle bar before the Sept. 10, 2009, raid started. At least two of them were drinking heavily, according to the bartender and the receipts they filed for the costs of their drinks.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/atlant…..39054.html

    1. Phew. At least it wasn’t FourLoko.

      1. And Jager isn’t that potent. It’s pungent, but not that potent. 70-proof.

        Disclosure: I was a Jager girl.

        1. How you doin’?

        2. We’re gonna need pics.

          1. yes, pictures please or it didn’t happen

        3. It’s at least 70x more potent than anything they are supposed to be drinking on duty. “Alcohol-free” means less than 0.5% (1 proof).

      2. The “potent” liquor Jaegermeister is not even 80 proof.

        1. They meant “potent” as in “makes you puke easily”.

          1. That shit is nasty. Dave Attell has a good Jager shtick.

    2. Bridges, 41, did not respond to a telephone message left at his home Tuesday. He has been on paid leave since he was arrested earlier this month in Cobb County on charges of speeding, DUI and possession of marijuana.

      New professionalism in action.

      1. “He has been on paid leave since he was arrested earlier this month in Cobb County on charges of speeding, DUI and possession of marijuana.
        New professionalism in action.”

        Not to mention admirable “management”. Who pays these goof-offs?

  5. I’m an ex-South Florida resident. I don’t know much about Scott, and was somewhat surprised by the fact that he took the 5th at some deposition a bunch of times. Tempered by the fact that I didn’t know much about the case, and assumed the left-leaning press made more of it than was reasonable. Having said that, this is an excellent decision. The people who are against it couldn’t give a rat’s ass about what is good for the citizens of Florida. This kind of project in Florida (and elsewhere) is simply a free-for-all of graft, kickbacks and higher taxes on the hoodwinked citizens in the end.

  6. Great Scott!

    Very pleased by this decision. As a Tampa resident who drives to Orlando on occasion, I think I can say authoritatively that this boondoggle isn’t even remotely needed. I-4, as annoying as it can be, is usually no more than an hour’s drive from NW Tampa to Orlando. No way getting to the train station, waiting for the train, getting from the train to my final destination is going to take any less time than that. Crap, I can’t fly to Orlando any faster than I can drive, all told.

    With all the fiscal problems our various levels of government are facing, we simply can’t afford crap like this. Tightening our belt doesn’t mean buying a Ferrari, after all.

    1. Why do you hate green jobs?

      1. Hey, I voted for high-speed horses.

      2. If it ain’t red, it ain’t a Ferrari.

  7. Monorail!
    Monorail!
    Monoraiiiiiil!

  8. But the private firms interested in building and operating the high-speed rail project are telling the California High-Speed Rail Authority that they cannot get financing unless the state provides them with “revenue guarantees.” And what, precisely, is that?

    What else???

    Bailouts!!!!!!

    1. Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo? Don’t know. It went by at 150 MPH sir.

      1. Pardon me goy, is that the Tampa-St. Pete Joo Choo?

  9. I’ve sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook. And, by gum, it put them on the map!

    1. Where can I sign up for the conductor classes?!?!

      1. It’s “Science, Technology, ENGINEERING, and Mathematics”, Mister.

        1. You have no idea how disappointed I was when I learned Chemical Engineers don’t get to wear the big hat and pull the steam whistle cord. However, with only 1 semester left, I stuck it out anyway.

          1. I was similarly disappointed when I found out that my father, who was (and is) an engineer, couldn’t drive a train. Fortunately, at about the same moment, I returned to being in awe of him, as he was working on sending people to the Moon. Close call, though!

            1. I’m gonna send people to the Moon while driving a train.

              1. You don’t need engineers to send people to the moon.

                All you neeed is Jackie Gleason.

                “You’re going to the moon, Alice!”

            2. Pro L – I had a similar moment with my dad when I was a kid. Went from dissapointment at him not driving a train to super excited about space.

  10. Between Gov. Scott and Gov Christie I am beginning to lose my pessimistic outlook as to the future of our nation.

    Here’s Christie speaking at AEI today on entitlement reform –

    This afternoon at the American Enterprise Institute, New Jersey governor Chris Christie said he wants House Republicans to “put up or shut up” on entitlement reform and had a message for those candidates he campaigned for in 2010: “If the people who I campaigned for don’t stand up and do the right thing, the next time they’ll see me in their district [it will be] with my arm around their primary opponent,” Christie said. “Because you asked me to put my reputation on the line for you based on a promise that you were going to deal with these hard issues.”

    These are very good signs.

    1. That’s super.

    2. Could Christie hate poor people and blacks any more?

      1. Will Tony ever stop beating his wife (and/or lifetime partner)?

        1. She probably gets donkey punched with his panniculus every once in a while.

          1. Oh man, I busted a gut when i read that…you’re killin’ me.

      2. You forget women, children, and gays.

      3. Presumably, yes. You’ve heard of something called the “Civil Rights Era”, yes?

  11. But…but… Choo-choos.
    How can we live without the choo-choos?

  12. Don’t get me wrong — I’m firmly with the Reasonoids on this issue. However, what bothers me is that the (stoopid) voters of Florida voted for rail a few years ago via referendum — can the politicians simply ignore the vote? If so, WTF?

    1. You know who else voted for fast trains.

      1. Oooh… Oooh… Pick me! I know!

    2. In Nov. 2004, the amendment was repealed.

      1. Oh, that’s right. I had this vague memory but thought that was just wishful thinking on my part.

        Pigs, however, remain a part of our Constitution. Along with class sizes

        1. …And no smoking in bar/restaurants…

      2. Thanks for straightening me out, Penguin. I completely missed (or forgot about) the repeal.

        1. Don’t even get me on the soap box about a Constitution that gets amended 2-6 times every other year.

          1. A constitution should be a framework for a political system, not a list of super-legislation.

        2. I remember happily voting for that one…

    3. I just voted against a local tax for rail. I wonder if the original referendum (can’t remember) covered funding? If not, that’s a pretty significant problem with implementation.

      1. PL, IIANM the rail initiative was one of the votes (along with class size) that prompted the unsuccessful proposal to require that all new initiatives include a funding plan.

        The funding plan part didn’t get through but the requirement that 60% was required for passage did.

        I’m also always intrigued by the overlap that must exist between the nearly 2/3 of voters who passed the extra dollar on the minimum wage, the poofters can’t get married, the class size and the parental notifications (for abortion) amendments.

        But constitutional rights for pigs certainly make us unique, I think. 🙂

        And people wonder why I’m such a cynic about democracy.

  13. I’m sure the Governor’s office and the Florida Department of Transportation have a pretty good idea, by now, how much (and how little) actual risk the private sector would be willing to take on.

    If you can’t come up with the front money, you’re not for real.

    1. “Guess what? Uncle Sam don’t give a shit about your expenses. You want bread, fuck a baker.”

      Very underrated movie.

  14. I committed Medicare fraud and pleaded the Fifth 85 times!

    Suckers!

    1. Better a corrupt businessman than a corrupt politician. Besides, while I don’t know much about his alleged fraud, I doubt seriously he’d be walking free if it were that clear cut that he’d committed fraud. Maybe he got away with something; maybe he didn’t do it at all. Never saw any compelling evidence, even when the dirt was being slung.

      1. I pleaded the Fifth Amendment before Congress.

        1. oh, the irony!

        2. I’m almost certain that that doesn’t make you guilty in our system of justice. Besides, there are other reasons besides guilt for not testifying.

          I’m not saying he’s innocent–he very well may not be–but I don’t think you know the answer to that anymore than I do. Certainly, no one thought enough of the matter to actually prosecute him.

          1. If Congress subpoenaed me, I’d seriously think about pleading the Fifth Amendment on every single question, including when they ask me my name.

            1. Any defense attorney worth his salt will tell you to remain absolutely silent.

              “Taking the Fifth” has nothing to do with innocence or guilt, it’s plain common sense.

        3. He learned from Bill Clinton, then.

    2. We forgive you. Cut out more bullshit projects and we’ll re-elect you.

    3. Hey, man, even a fraudulent clock is right once a year.

    4. This would worry me more if “Medicare fraud” was as obvious a crime to identify as “murder,” rather than a potential bookkeeping fuckup. Also, taking the 5th is a fundamental right. Perhaps you’d prefer the “self-criticism” trials of Maoist China? Those people couldn’t plead the damn 5th, by gum!

      Also, he set his salary as Governor to $1 a year, an odd thing to do if he wants to steal tax money.

      1. “Perhaps you’d prefer the “self-criticism” trials of Maoist China?”

        Check with Da Troof; I’m sure s/he would.

  15. Hooray – Our Gov finally does something right! He’s been making promising strides towards reducing debt, pensions and now this. It’s almost enough to make you have faith in some parts of the govt.

    Now we can expect to hear from all the hippies and people that had skin in the game who will wail that we’re condemning Florida to a motorized, carbon-spewing nightmare.

    1. I live in Tallahassee, these last 2 months I have been like the fat kid in Willy Wonka’s garden, drinking the shrieks of the state employees, tree-huggers, and various anti-growth factions leave me drunk with glee at times. I didn’t vote for him, but he’s exceeding my expectations.

      1. I must confess, Brett, that while I am still reserving judgment on our guvnah, I am enjoying the hell out of watching the heads of the political class asplode.

        And it ain’t just the liberals, here in Taintsville we have Dick Batchelor and Lou Frey on the local NPR station in absolute vapors over Scott two or three times a week.

      2. I just moved away from Tallahassee a few months ago. I lived in Lake Jackson, and got to drive every day through the construction for that other completely unneccessary stimulus project; the Turtle Tunnel.

        1. Used to fish Lake Jackson as a kid. Great bass lake.

      3. I work for a credit union whose membership is open only to labor union members. Grey matter has been splattering all over the place since the announcement was made yesterday. I can’t believe I’m actually being paid to have this much fun.

  16. I think I like Gov. Scott even more now then when I voted for him back in November.

    I have lived in Tampa and Orlando (and Tallahassee), and I agree with rac above that a high speed train between those two cities is totally unneccesary. I used to drive from downtown Orlando to MacDill AFB in south Tampa a couple times a month, and it would take 1.5 hours. Even if you did take a train, you’d have to rent a car in the other city if you wanted to go anywhere besides the train station.

    Another plus for Scott: he brought on Michelle Rhee as his education advisor.

    1. Yes, his education policy looks good.

    2. Considering that you can buy a ticket on Amtrak from Tampa to Orlando for about $15 and the ride takes less than an hour and NOBODY rides it, what is high speed rail gonna accomplish exactly?

  17. Meanwhile, in China, they’ve declared 2011 the “Year of the Metal Rabbit” and are building new, giant high speed lines every month, at a breakneck pace.

    We can’t build a new tunnell into New York. Can’t build a ONE, TINY high-speed line in Florida. This country can’t do anything anymore.

    1. Come on man, just one more tunnel man, just one little high speed rail system… I need my high speed rail man…

      1. It’s wah-fer theen!

        1. Truly, the best analogy for our government there is.

          1. Unlike Mr. Creosote, our masters in government never say, f*ck off, I’m full.

    2. The new Shanghai Train Station, built in under a year.

      Beijing South Station as renovated in eight months.

      Meanwhile, we take TEN FUCKING YEARS to build a simple office tower in New York.

      1. Man, all those gov’t regulations and restrictions on businesses that slow down construction projects like this sure do suck, don’t they?

        1. Don’t forget the union goons.

    3. Re: The Truth,

      Meanwhile, in China, they’ve declared 2011 the “Year of the Metal Rabbit” and are building new, giant high speed lines every month, at a breakneck pace.

      Tsk, tsk, tsk… You’re too easily impressed.

      We can’t build a new tunnell into New York. Can’t build a ONE, TINY high-speed line in Florida. This country can’t do anything anymore.

      Well, enough of this “we” business, Kimosabe. If you want a tunnel in New York, why don’t you pay for it yourself?

      1. The people of New Jersey had funds authorized. Governor Big Mag decided to ax it, you know, just because!

        1. Re: The Truth,

          The people of New Jersey had funds authorized.

          Wow – Funds! Authorized!

          It wouldn’t be money that New Jerseyans put themselves, would it?

          I didn’t think so.

          1. Are you seriously suggesting that money for infrastructure only come from voluntary gifts ? Really?

            Grow the fuck up. The real world doesn’t work like that.

            1. Re: Tony,

              Are you seriously suggesting that money for infrastructure only come from voluntary gifts ? Really?

              Yes. Next question?

              Grow the fuck up. The real world doesn’t work like that.

              You mean the real world with the wholesale thievery, right?

              1. Yes. Next question?

                Let’s imagine what that would look like folks! That’s right–all money that goes to the government becomes completely voluntary! You don’t have to pay taxes if you don’t feel like it!

                The thing speaks for itself.

                You know they tried that with the Articles of Confederation, right? The federal government had zero authority to tax. And the country was a basket case?

                1. We had no income tax under the Constitution for nearly 150 years. In which time we became the greatest economic power on Earth.

                  1. Yeah, you know what we had instead?

                    Heavy, big, protective tariffs. I’m sure you endorse that, right?

                  2. Not only that, but the feds got tons of money from selling federal land (after stealing it from the Indians).

                    1. But I thought you loved the government and all it does?

            2. I like how you switched feet there. We went from “The people of NJ demand high speed rail!” to “Who the fuck cares what people want, this is the real world!”

            3. You do realize that part of the reason the Chinese built that so fast, is that they have NO environmental regulations to abide by, right? WHY DO YOU HATE THE ENVIRONMENT, THE TRUTH!!! WHY DO YOU FUCKING HATE THE ENVIRONMENT!!!

              Also, the Chinese have extensive previous experience in building railroads.

            4. Throughout history, infrastructure should have only been built by private investment. Subsidized railroads, highways, airports, and subsidized and centrally planned land development have fucked it up to the point where our planners think we need more of this to fix it.

          2. OM how dare you suggest that people keep the money they earn when they want to??? ANARCHY SOMALIA ROADS!!1

        2. You know, just based on an engineering standpoint and the routing, that fucking tunnel wasn’t worth the non-existent funny money they were going to pay for it with. It was nothing but a giant subsidy to the union and contractor welfare queens.

    4. Actually, the US is very good at producing 21st Century corporations that provide 21st century services: Ebay, Google, Amazon, to name a few.

      Also, some corporations like Caterpillar continue to turn out the best equipment in the world from US factories. There are also world-class engineering and design firms, such as Bechtel.

      However, the US government seems to prefer to construct souped-up versions of 19th century technologies, all of which require vast subsidies.

      What’s next? Solar powered zepplins? (And if they are already doing that, don’t tell me.)

      1. I did propose high-speed zeppelins in a previous thread.

        1. Ahem, dirigibles! If you are going to sell such a scheme, you must appeal to an upscale crowd. We can’t have the hoi polloi thinking they will have access to such niceties.

          1. Hey, nothing more chic than Nazi chic. Which means zeppelins.

    5. You want “the truth”?
      China is building for the sake of building…whole fricken cities

      http://www.businessinsider.com…..-12?slop=1

    6. The Truth|2.16.11 @ 5:47PM|#
      “….Can’t build a ONE, TINY high-speed line in Florida.”

      No, you ignoramus, we choose not to.

    7. It’s about justice, Mr. Low. A chance to shine and make a difference. About thousands of people walking side by side as brother marchers, only one thing on their minds: a chance to make a difference.

      Bring your friends. Nothing shows a man how much you mean to him more than a chance to walk together for justice. Bring your kids. They can paint signs, and we’ll even have a face painter and a vegan barbecue. Bring your parents. Dude, even the elderly care about tomorrow.

  18. Drive on Europe’s roads some time. Not a pothole in sight. Now compare it to our fucked up road system.

    This country is screwed. We’re in utter, terminal decline, and it’s completely self-inflicted.

    1. Retard Alert.

    2. Concern troll is concerned.

    3. Re: The Truth,

      Drive on Europe’s roads some time. Not a pothole in sight.

      You need glasses for your sight
      http://www.martinfrost.ws/html…..roads.html

      http://www.allbusiness.com/gov…..421-1.html

      1. I’m talking about France and Germany dipshit. Ever heard of the Autobahn? The TGV?

        1. Re: The Truth,

          I’m talking about France and Germany dipshit.

          You heard it here first, folks!

          Europe is France and Germany. Period. Uh, at least, according to dimwitted there…

          1. There are no potholes in Europe, you fuck stick.

            I don’t consider Spain, Italy, Britain, Portugal, etc. part of Europe.

        2. According to DA TROOF, Europe now consists of France and Germany.

          Sorry Italia, DA TROOF HAS SPOKEN.

        3. The Truth|2.16.11 @ 5:54PM|#
          “I’m talking about France and Germany dipshit.”

          You’re lying through your teeth, shitbag.

        4. Which cup is the poison in, Vizzini?

    4. Maintaining the illusion of national greatness is definitely more important than individual liberty and fiscal sanity.

    5. Now compare it to our fucked up road system.

      I thought the point of the stimulus was to address infrastructure and have all those shovel ready jobs. It appears it was nothing more than a giant slush fund to shore up fiscally irresponsible state fiscal policy and kickbacks to unions.

      Real efficient command economy you go there, pal!

    6. But we’re gonna make sure to inflict as much damage on the rest of the planet while we’re at it.

      What would be the really just punishment for the morons in charge who spend all their time jerking off to free market fairy tales while the country crumbles and loses its dominance in the world? I don’t see why ignorance should be a defense for treason.

      1. What, precisely, made us dominant?

        1. Railroads! Big things! Shiny things! Getting things done!

        2. Your total economic policy rhetorical allegiance with Republicans. They are actually trying to make policy based on your ridiculous bullshit!

      2. What would be the really just punishment for the morons in charge who spend all their time jerking off to free market fairy tales while the country crumbles and loses its dominance in the world?

        HAHAHAHA, notice that Tony actually believes that our political leaders are pro-free market. Never mind all those politicians that Tony agrees with that have been screwing us for years, IT’S ALL THE LIBERTARIANS FAULT. Fuck off you hypocritical, backwards little shit.

      3. Re: Tony,

        But we’re gonna make sure to inflict as much damage on the rest of the planet while we’re at it[…]
        […] while the country crumbles and loses its dominance in the world?

        Contradiction!
        Contradiction!
        Goes together with
        leftist claptrap!
        This, I tell you brother,
        You can’t have one without the other!

      4. Tony|2.16.11 @ 6:00PM|#
        “But we’re gonna make sure to inflict as much damage on the rest of the planet while we’re at it.”

        You should talk with your partner in ignorance. He claims the rest of the world is going to ‘out-train’ the US.

        1. It already has. The main reason this country is so far behind the rest of the modern world (which it created!) is because of the dominance of the ridiculous bullshit you guys believe in.

    7. Total fucking lie.

      My bet is you’ve never been out of Greenwich Village.

      There are plenty of pot holes.

    8. The Truth|2.16.11 @ 5:51PM|#
      “Drive on Europe’s roads some time. Not a pothole in sight. Now compare it to our fucked up road system.”

      So on top of being an ignoramus, you’re a bald-faced liar?
      On top of the sorry roads, you have to get in the curb lane two towns early to get off the autobahns. Too much truck traffic, since the Euro RR tunnels won’t take freight.

  19. Still waiting for Scott to reject all highway funding for his state, because, you know, highways have operating costs and do not pay for themselves. And the feeder roads are almost entirely subsidized by property taxes! Oh my!

    1. Re: Chad,

      Still waiting for Scott to reject all highway funding for his state, because, you know, highways have operating costs and do not pay for themselves.

      “Because building an expensive and unnecessary rail system would show consistency.”

      Not that the roads are already THERE, mind you.

      You know? Somebody put out that flame – it certainly brought a lot of moths today!

    2. And people actually use the roads, as opposed to trains that go almost as fast as cars. Oh my!

    3. Chad|2.16.11 @ 5:54PM|#
      “…highways have operating costs and do not pay for themselves.”

      Still waiting for chad to stop embarrassing himself cherry-picking data.
      They don’t pay for themselves since the money is stolen for

      TRAINS!

    4. Ooooooh, tell us more Mister Externality!!!

    5. If Scott were to propose selling off the state maintained highways in Florida (and none of this public-private long term lease horse shit), I would applaud that as well.

    6. “we should be focusing on improving our ports, rail and highway infrastructure to be in a position to attract the increased shipping that will result”

      Too bad he had to go on with this shit.

    7. TRAAAAIIINNNSSSS….. TRAAAAIIINNSSS…. MUST HAVE TRAAAIINNNSSSS….

  20. Trains!?! FUCKING TRAINS!?!?! Do they even TRY to put effort into the bullshit they try to sell us on anymore? Hey, jackasses, the 1880s called, and said this is a fantastic idea and totally the wave of the future. None of these high speed rails run by any buffalo preserves, do they?

    ZOMG, what’s next; are they going to offer us awesome new phonographs?

    1. Never been to Europe… or any other civilized place on earth?

      1. Wow- Tony, Chad and DA TROOF all in one thread!

        Train threads really bring out the statists, don’t they.

        Where’s MNG so we can complete the circle jerk?

      2. Actually, asshole, I have (Germany, while I was in the army). They use trains a lot…because of 1) much closer dense urban areas, and 2) because their gasoline is so expensive.

        So, I suppose your statist solution is to jack our gas up to $8 per gallon, then tell us how much we need trains.

        BTW, as a resident of Texas, I do not want my tax dollars paying for trains in Florida. Fuck Florida. Not my problem. I’d still object to them being built here, but at least that would be something that as a resident of the area, I would have a legitimate reason to weigh in on it.

        1. As a Floridian, I endorsing your fucking of Florida. We’ll live without your rail subsidy. But thanks everybody for offering.

          1. Thanks man. I don’t want your tax dollars being wasted on anything in Texas, either. Not your problem what we do or don’t do here, anymore than Florida’s business is my problem.

            1. I have an idea–y’all stop paying federal income taxes, and we will, too.

              1. I am COMPLETELY on board with you brother. Let’s start tomorrow.

                1. Excellent plan. I think other states should join in.

                  1. Well, everyone except Vermont. We all know how THEY are….

                    1. Douche. Go get your concealed carry license.

                    2. I see what you did there.

        2. Frankfurt for 2 years. Immediately bough a car so I could go where I wanted to go on my schedule. Loved the trains, don’t get me wrong. But preferred my car. The USAREUR gas subsidy was nice.

        3. So, I suppose your statist solution is to jack our gas up to $8 per gallon, then tell us how much we need trains.

          Ok so instead we wait until gas actually costs $8 a gallon (even in its heavily subsidized situation), and do trains then? Because making people go poor for a while and then cleaning up after a perfectly predictable calamity is so much better than planning!

          1. Actually, it is better. Because by planning what really happens is that you predict 12 of the next 2 calamities and prepare based on your best guess for all 12 – guaranteeing that you build 12 suboptimal solutions to prepare for 2 problems. And then you build the 2 solutions you really needed.

            I see the same scenario play out in business all the time. Some guys blow all kinds of money developing solutions for “what if” scenarios that never occur in the real world. Then they complain when their 12 solutions don’t match the real problem when it finally shows up. The take home lesson is to let the business teach you what is needed, not your imagination. The corollary for government is to let the private sector handle as much as possible and let government step in to protect individual rights when needed.

            High speed rail is a fantastical solution to an imaginary problem. If you really think a high speed rail link is needed, create a regulatory environment that would encourage (or even allow) the development of such creations by private business.

      3. I lived in Germany for 2 years. It ain’t remotely like America. But not because America doesn’t have trains. Idiot.

        1. He must’ve loved the Nazis. Trains, highways, big, shiny government projects–all good stuff. That Holocaust business aside, of course.

          1. Yeah, some people didn’t like the trains so much.

            1. In Nazi Germany, trains come to US!

          2. Hey, all it took to build the autobahn was the forced labor of Jews and POWs.

      4. Tony|2.16.11 @ 5:57PM|#
        “Never been to Europe.”

        Judging by your abysmal ignorance, I doubt you’ve been out of the basement for ten years.

    2. Yeah, this is really 19th Century huh:

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi…..it_001.jpg

      1. The Troof just came.

      2. Oh, oh, LOOK! A choo-choo with tin on it.
        Been done, oh, 70 years ago.
        http://www.google.com/imgres?i…..29,r:0,s:0
        Didn’t work then, either.

        1. That thing you link to actually worked out for several decades, without being subsidized by the government. In fact, government regulation of the railroads and subsidization of roads and highways had a lot to do with killing private transportation in America.

          1. “That thing you link to actually worked out for several decades,”

            Worked for short-hauls, and limited loads. Would have done fine in commuter service, but not in trans-con use.

      3. Hey Troof – do you want a juice box? I think Thomas the Tank Engine is coming on now.

        1. LOL!

      4. Ooooh, yeah, I saw this ride at Disneyland!

        MICKEY LOOOOOVES TRAIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

        Maybe next year, Hope&Change;(TM) can propose turning Iowa into a gigantic Space Mountain.

    3. No, buffalo, but there are cattle pastures along that stretch.

  21. The point is, if something is economically viable, businesses will be jumping at the chance to do it. I don’t see a lot of private high-speed rail companies in the U.S.

    1. As opposed to the national road system that was created by all those private entities.

      1. Re: Tony,

        As opposed to the national road system that was created by all those private entities.

        You should have chosen your rah-rahs more carefully: The National road system was a major, expensive clusterfuck that depopulated the cities and created that sprawl environmentalists are so fond of criticizing.

        1. Indeed, we should have focused on rail instead. But you can’t say roads have had a negligible affect on commerce.

          1. Since we pay hefty taxes for gas, I don’t think roads (esp. interstates) are exactly subsidized.

              1. You should read your own links, asshole:
                “Only during a brief 17-year period beginning in 1956 did Congress temporarily dedicate gas tax revenues to construct the Interstate network, a project completed in the 1990s. Since 1973, the gasoline tax has been used to fund a variety of important transportation priorities and has periodically been used to reduce the federal deficit.”

                1. That was directed at Da Troof; from his/her link.

          2. Re: Tony,

            Indeed, we should have focused on rail instead.

            “We” should have focused on market solutions – if roads, fine. If rail, fine. I find rail to be much more efficient than road trucking but, unfortunately, the decision was made for all of us (like always) by central planning statist fucks, starting with one major statist fuck: Ike Eisenhower.

            But you can’t say roads have had a negligible affect on commerce.

            Of course not, nobody can say that. The fact is, it (the system) was built to kowtow to Big Auto and Big Unions, nothing else.

            1. I’ve been looking in to this for a few years. It goes way back before Eisenhower. I blame the public land survey for starting it all- it was here that the government discovered its ability to control where people settle.

            2. “We” should have focused on market solutions – if roads, fine. If rail, fine.

              There is no market solution to national infrastructure. How long should we have waited for the market to come up with a national transportation plan?

              Of course not, nobody can say that. The fact is, it (the system) was built to kowtow to Big Auto

              Partly true, but we have to have something, and there are clearly defined choices. The market won’t build an efficient transportation infrastructure, because it never has. That’s a primary role of any government interested in having an economy.

              1. TRAAIINNSS… TTRRAAAAIIINNNSSSS….. TRAAAAIIINNNSSS

          3. Tony|2.16.11 @ 6:07PM|#
            “Indeed, we should have focused on rail instead.”

            We did, until we found something better.
            You should e long horses; great investment for atavists.

          4. “Indeed, we should have focused on rail instead. But you can’t say roads have had a negligible affect on commerce.”

            No, the government should have stayed the fuck out of transportation, land use, and energy. Weirdly, I think the result would have looked a lot like what you desire- more centralized population, more mass transit. Except that the government wouldn’t control it.

          5. Yeah, because a national rail system wouldn’t have involved ANY instances of eminent domain abuse, social engineering, community dislocation, or public/private corruption, no sirree.

      2. Once again, if somthing is going to be subsidized shouldn’t it something people actually use? As opposed to choo choo trains?

        1. How can people use something that doesn’t exist yet?

          1. They can’t. But we can look at examples from other places where choo choo trains were rammed into place by ribbon cutting asswipe politicians and figure that gee, probably we won’t see the trains in FL packed either.

            1. Yes, and where is my space elevator?

              1. The amount of energy used to temper the glass isn’t green enough. Also, unions.

              2. Now that’d be a transportation project with some dividends.

            2. Trains are used heavily in Europe, Asia, and urban America. If you ask me, the basic problem isn’t a lack of trains, it’s too much rural area, something that owes as much to geography as to transportation policy. It’s just a shame people who live in rural areas in this country have a bigger say in national policy than those who live more densely.

              1. those stupid farmers growing our grains.

          2. Tony|2.16.11 @ 6:07PM|#
            “How can people use something that doesn’t exist yet?”

            WHAT!? You think trains don’t exist!?

          3. There is an Amtrak train from Tampa to Orlando. Gets you there in less than an hour, and under twenty buck s($15, I think) NO ONE USES IT.

  22. IT’s bullshit that “YOU’LL SPEND YOUR MONEY BETTER THAN THE GOVERNMENT!!!”

    I’d like to see you build a sewer system with “your money”, or a hydroelectric dam.

    1. Let me tell you about West Kootenay Power and Light, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cominco.

      They built 5 dams to power their smelter in Trail, BC. They also sold power to the residents of Trail, Nelson, Castlegar and numerous other communities in the West Kootenay area of British Columbia. Entirely privately funded.

      The BC government forced Cominco to sell WKPL to its Crown Corporation BC Hydro (“Crown Corporation” means government owned).

      Hydro rates for the residents of the West Kootenay area ROSE over the next few years to match the rates that BC Hydro charged the rest of the residents of BC.

      So please don’t tell me that private corporations can’t build hydro-electric projects and can’t operate them as well as governments.

      1. That’s probably why these statist characters are always citing CHINA! EUROPE! and not Canada. You might accidentally do something non-socialist on occasion. Because of the corrupting influence of the United States, no doubt.

    2. I’d like to see you build a hydroelectric dam at all today, government funds or no, with the dumb greenies throwing their political weight around.

      You seriously think Hoover Dam would even get off the drawing board in this day and age? The Sierra Club would litigate it out of existence long before they’d even have a chance to dig the first shovelful of dirt.

    3. I have a sewer system. Cost about $25k. It’s in my backyard. I gets my own water too.

  23. Ancient technology, according to our libertard experts:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi…..ion_01.JPG

    http://www.shanghaitudi.com/wp…..tation.jpg

    Built in SIX MONTHS.

    1. How is that megadam working out?

    2. Listen, first off, grats on successfully trolling the shit out of all of us.

      Secondly, I didn’t mean that the devices themselves were 19th century tech; I mean the concept of Americans traveling by train is. Because we prefer cars. Because we are not Europe or China. We do not have $8 gas, or use chopsticks for every meal.

      1. We WILL have $8 after peak oil, and what the fuck are we going to do then? Not to mention the price of airline tickets skyrocketing.

        The Chinese and Europeans can take trains and will have already built alternatives. We’ll be utterly fucked once the days of cheap motoring end.

        1. Re: The Truth,

          We WILL have $8 after peak oil

          Peak Oil! Ha ha ha ha!!

          Oh, you’re being serious….

          BWA HA HA HA HA!!!

          We’ve been having “peak oil” since the 60s, sonny. Tell me a different bedtime story….

          1. So we’ll have cheap oil forever? Never run out?

            Or do you think Jesus will come back first so it doesn’t matter?

            1. Re: The Truth,

              So we’ll have cheap oil forever? Never run out?

              Your ignorance of economics is as fascinting as watching cows being butchered.

              Oil will NEVER run out, not as long as it is priced on a market (which is right now, more or less). As for being “cheaper”, that will depend on one thing: The Law of Supply and Demand.

              1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! It’s a non-renewable resource jackass! There’s a finite amouont of it in the earth. Once its gone, ITS FUCKING GONE.

                1. Re: The Truth,

                  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! It’s a non-renewable resource jackass! There’s a finite amouont of it in the earth. Once its gone, ITS FUCKING GONE.

                  See? I told you: Your lack of economic knowledge is fascinating, like watching bulls stomping people in Pamplona.

                  Oil will never run out, NEVER – it’ll be the cost of extracting it that will be beyond profitability, that’s all, but the oil will be there forever.

                2. The Truth|2.16.11 @ 6:23PM|#
                  “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! It’s a non-renewable resource jackass! There’s a finite amouont of it in the earth. Once its gone, ITS FUCKING GONE.”

                  Spoken like a true ignoramus.
                  I suppose we ran out of coal, did we?

                  1. Don’t forget about me! I’m still here!

                3. There are two basic theories of how oil is produced: biogenic and abiogenic. The first one is essentially the “dead dinos” theory that we have all heard, though ancient plants and primitive cellular organisms make up by far the bulk of the source material for our current reserves of oil, with dinos contributing an infinitesimal amount. The second theory supposes that the earth itself has the power to make petroleum from raw elements deep within the planetary interior; occasionally, cracks or other lesions in outer layers of crust and mantle allow this petroleum to escape to (or at least toward) the surface, occasionally replenishing abandoned oil wells believed to be dry, or creating new underground pools altogether.

                  Neither of those theories, however, says that its respective processes have stopped. In both, oil production continues as it always has. So it simply isn’t true, that once the oil is gone, it is gone forever. More is always being made.

                  What we DON’T know is the rate of oil production under either of the two theories. Also, the abiogenic theory includes the idea that truly vast reserves of oil have been made by the planet over billions of years, and that only a relatively small bit of such oil has risen far enough crustward to be available to us surface dwellers. If that idea is correct, current concepts of “peak oil” will at least need to be revisited, if not scrapped entirely. More importantly, it would be reasonable to expect to find oil on other planets and moons, where life may never have developed at all. The hydrocarbon-rich atmosphere of Saturn’s large moon, Titan, teases us with evidence that supports this possibility (along with many others — that’s why it is a “tease”).

                  It is certainly possible for human rates of consumption to drain current reserves of liquid and gaseous “fossil fuels” long before the Earth can replenish them. But if these commodities are priced with a market mechanism, then rising prices for the ever more scarce commodities will eventually lead to a situation where we will consume at the rate of Earth’s new production. So, technically speaking, the oil will NEVER run out forever. If it does, we will need a new theory of oil production, as our current ones will then prove to be wrong.

            2. I assume we’ll develop economical alternatives to I/C soon enough. Maybe even something truly advanced, like fusion. Such technological advances would happen much faster with a freer market, of course.

              1. Yes, because the free market developed nuclear power! Done completely by the free market! No government intervention at all, right ProLib?

                No Manhattan Project. No R&D grants, not government money (TAKEN BY TEH MEN WITH GUNZ!!!) to go to universities to train nuclear scientists, right?

                1. Re: The Truth,

                  Yes, because the free market developed nuclear power!

                  And government builds ROADS! Roads, I tell you! ROADS!!

                2. Let me put it this way. Did the government build the rockets and equipment that took us to the Moon?

                  1. Uhh…YES, well the German government did (von Braun).

                    1. Um, no. Are you insane?

                    2. The government developed rocket technology, and you know what else?

                      None other than the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics did it before us, that is getting a rocket to go into space.

                    3. “None other than the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics did it before us, that is getting a rocket to go into space.”

                      At what cost?

                3. Yes, because the market for nuclear power has been totally free from restriction by government all along! Surely if I started a nuclear energy company in my backyard, the government wouldn’t shut me down or anything.

                  You genius, I’m convinced by your logic and want to join your team. Have a newsletter?

        2. Aren’t you going to orgasm when our high speed is newer and more advanced than the Chinese?

        3. The Truth|2.16.11 @ 6:09PM|#
          “…We’ll be utterly fucked…”

          “We”?
          Got a turd in your pocket?

        4. “We WILL have $8 after peak oil, and what the fuck are we going to do then?”

          Telecommute.

        5. “We WILL have $8 after peak oil, and what the fuck are we going to do then?”

          Telecommute.

    3. “Built in SIX MONTHS.”

      Oh, oh, LOOK! A building with balloons and no one in it!
      How………………………..
      stupid.

    4. As always, it’s because the authorities in the Peking Country (unlike the other of the two Chinas) don’t have to listen to the will of the people.

      Consider your example of an advanced country, Germany. Look at the trouble they’re having with the Stuttgart 21 project because the locals don’t want the design Big Government is trying to impose on them.

  24. Re: The Truth,

    IT’s bullshit that “YOU’LL SPEND YOUR MONEY BETTER THAN THE GOVERNMENT!!!”

    Oh, sure – the track record of government spending can attest to that…

    http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/…..035635.pdf

  25. You know the real difference between China and the US?

    They have engineers run their country, we put worthless lawyers and corrupt businessmen in charge of ours.

    1. By all means, move there.

      And be sure to take your little red book with you.

    2. Hey ….

    3. They have engineers run their country

      Thanks for the laugh, that was fantastic.

    4. The Truth|2.16.11 @ 6:06PM|#
      “You know the real difference between China and the US?”

      Yeah.
      China has a brain-dead ignoramus cheer-leader.

    5. I was an engineer, and look how well I did!!

      1. Ah was a NUK-YU-LAH engineeah, and look how well AH did!

    6. ‘Cause all their ‘Five Year Plans’ work out so well…

  26. Reason finally accomplished something tangible.

    Congratulations!

  27. Seriously, morons, show me one country in the history of the world–ONE–where taxes were entirely voluntary and how well it worked out.

    Just one.

    1. Ignoring your straw man for the moment, Hong Kong imposes a very tiny tax rate on its people.

      And it’s worked out just fine.

      So, who’s the moron, moron?

      1. Yes, because in Hong Kong, the government owns ALL THE LAND! That’s right–the government owns all the fucking land. That’s how they get most of their money.

        Plus I said NO taxes .. None at all, period.

        1. Yes, you did, but you know that no such country has ever existed. What’s your point? Libertarians are not conservatives. We’re not pining for some golden age. Yes, the world has been getting more free over time, but no, the world is not yet free enough.

    2. Re: The Truth,

      Seriously, morons, show me one country in the history of the world–ONE–where taxes were entirely voluntary and how well it worked out.

      Sure! I’ll give you TWO!

      Liechenstein
      Monaco

  28. Wow, Reason actually accomplished something tangible.

  29. Wow, Reason has actually accomplished something.

  30. Florida Gov. Scott Rejects Flawed Orlando to Tampa High-Speed Rail Plan

    Q: Do these trains have any flaws?

    A: Whah, of caoss dey have flaws! What else wood y’all have to wok on?

  31. People in cities live longer, are happier, commit suicide less, are better educated, healthier, thinner, and consume less energy per capita. Along with building rail systems we need to encourage urbanization. You guys can get behind this. We’ve been subsidizing suburban sprawl for decades. Shouldn’t we, say, take away the incentives that exist to buy houses rather than rent?

    I’m sure you guys will find some way to defend the heavily subsidized status quo as somehow the freest possible system. We can’t behave like Eurofags, after all.

    1. Shouldn’t we, say, take away the incentives that exist to buy houses rather than rent?

      So you’re shilling for Big Landlord?

    2. Re: Tony,

      People in cities live longer, are happier, commit suicide less, are better educated, healthier, thinner, and consume less energy per capita. Along with building rail systems we need to encourage urbanization.

      “We” don’t need to do anything except stop encouraging the central-planning bastards. Eisenhower built the national interstate highway system supposedly to allow tanks to travel from one place to another in case of invasion. It was nothing more than a big, great white elephant that Americans are still paying in the form of higher diesel fuel demand (for all those goddamned trucks) than needed and a highly regulated and castrated rail syste, plus de-urbanization, sprawl, and road accidents galore.

      I cannot tell you what a free market system would have looked like because it’s too late for that, but I can imagine more rail, MORE (and cheaper) air travel, less car and truck travel, less congested interstates.

      You guys can get behind this. We’ve been subsidizing suburban sprawl for decades.

      Not by choice! Taxation IS theft, Tony – remember that.

      Shouldn’t we, say, take away the incentives that exist to buy houses rather than rent?

      Sure! I’ll buy that for a dollar! Why subsidize housing? Why suck Barney Frank’s dick (yuck!)???

      I’m sure you guys will find some way to defend the heavily subsidized status quo as somehow the freest possible system.

      Search elsewhere.

      1. (golf clap)

    3. Tony|2.16.11 @ 6:11PM|#
      “People in cities live longer, are happier, commit suicide less, are better educated, healthier, thinner, and consume less energy per capita.”

      And rain-dead ignoramuses would therefore force everyone to live in cities.
      See how easy this is?

  32. Open Letter to The Truth:

    China builds so fast, largely because they have absolutely no environmental regs to deal with. Please advise why you constantly compare us unfavorably with them in the “speed building” category, given that if we did things the way they did, you would undoubtedly be on here screaming about the damned environment.

    1. Europe builds things quickly and does it with heavier environmental regulations and powerful labor unions.

      1. Re: The Truth,

        Europe builds things quickly and does it with heavier environmental regulations and powerful labor unions.

        That would be France and Germany – you know, the WHOLE of EUROPE, like you implied a few posts above, right?

        1. For future reference:

          Europe: France, Germany

          Not Europe: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgum, Bosnia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Maldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, or the United Kingdom.

      2. Citation please.

      3. “The Football Association said today the stadium will not be completed before December 2004, a six-month delay as the design is revamped and financial backing sought.”
        http://www.independent.co.uk/s…..89821.html

        “Olympic preparations could be jeopardized by strikes and delays just like Wembley, according to one union.”
        http://www.buzzle.com/articles/140574.html
        Is it possible for you to post without lying?

      4. Like the Olympics in Athens? Wait, I used to think Greece was in Europe, but I’m not so sure after reading these comments…

  33. Here’s an open letter to libertards:

    Please explain why Germany, with powerful labor unions, high income taxes, and regulations, has the lowest unemployment rate in the industrialized world right now (5%) and the strongest growth.

    Thanks!

    1. Re: The Truth,

      Please explain why Germany, with powerful labor unions, high income taxes, and regulations, has the lowest unemployment rate in the industrialized world right now (5%) and the strongest growth.

      Because they don’t count people on disability/furlong as “unemployed”

      Also, you’re lying through your teeth, it ain’t 5%:

      http://www.bls.gov/ilc/intl_un…..onthly.htm

      As for GDP, that’s a misleading metric, as it counts government spending as “growth” (as if my wife’s spending could be construed as “growth” of my family’s wealth.)

    2. Germany’s unemployment rate was double the US for, AT LEAST, the last ten years.

      http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g……&c=us&l=en

  34. Citations on European building speeds please.

    Also, that does not excuse the fact that while yes, you did mention Europe, you spent an equal amount sucking on the (hilariously tiny) Chinese dick earlier. Defend your China bias, please.

  35. At least the Roman with the wall of text is amusing. Did any of you read the “Cadillac – Nash and Corvette” monologue? That was a magnificent post.

  36. Hong Kong also used TAX MONEY taking by ZOMG TEH FORCE!!! to build up its subway system, infrastructure, port, parks, schools, sewer system etc etc.

    BUT IT WAS TAKEN BY TEH FORCE!!! THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF WITHOUT IT!

    1. OMG, the HK leaders can use The Force?! The Dark side, or the Light? Jesus, we’d better get started training our own Jedi, in case they try to use it against us.

  37. $2.4 billion in federal money
    Shouldn’t that read $2.4 billion in federal debt?

    U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement that Florida’s money will go to other states “that are enthusiastic to receive Florida’s funding.”
    Head shake. I REALLY think all political appointees should be checked for OCD. “Gotta spend money, gotta spend money, gotta spend money”

  38. Face it, you idiots don’t love the Constitution, you love the Articles of Confederation.

    1. Re: The Truth,

      Face it, you idiots don’t love the Constitution, you love the Articles of Confederation.

      What I love is Rocky Road icecream – wanna make something out of it??? Huh? HUH?

    2. YES, finally someone gets it. You are absolutely correct, The Truth. Alexander Hamilton was a statist, elistist fuck, and probably a closet monarchist, and was one of the main authors of the Federalist Papers.

      I absolutely would perfer to go back to the Articles.

      1. You realized this country was a basket case, a fucking international joke, when we were under them right?

        1. Re: The Truth,

          You realized this country was a basket case, a fucking international joke, when we were under them right?

          And… that was bad… right?

          1. Uh…Shay’s Rebellion?

            The hyperinflation of the Continental Dollar?

            The inability to deal with piracy for lack of a Navy?

            States imposing tariffs and trade restrictions on eachother?

            Yeah, it was great!

            1. I’d like to note that you also never answered me about why you think building things in the Chinese fashion is so awesome, considering they’ve completely raped their environment.

            2. Re: The Truth,

              Uh…Shay’s Rebellion?

              Uh… What about it?

              Because France had like ONE major rebelion at the same time – was it also a “basket case”? Britain had THREE rebelions just in one century… was it also a basket case?

              The hyperinflation of the Continental Dollar?

              The Assignat (France)?

              The inability to deal with piracy for lack of a Navy?

              Ha ha ha!! As if the other “basket cases” could! Ha ha ha!

              Your ignorance of HISTORY, ever BASIC history, shows me you’re nothing more than a pathetic result of America’s public school “system.” I pity you.

              1. As to the “strong anti-federalist movement” not even they wanted to keep the Articles as they were. EVERYONE knew we needed a stronger central government.

                And Hamilton was our greatest Founding Father, and unlike Jefferson he wasn’t a slave-driver.

                1. Re: The Truth,

                  And Hamilton was our greatest Founding Father, and unlike Jefferson he wasn’t a slave-driver.

                  And he built ROADS!! Roads, I tell you! ROADS!!!

                  Actually, he created a central bank that went bye-bye very quickly, plus was a lousy shot…

                  1. It was the forrunner of the Federal Reserve system. The man was a visionary.

                    1. Re: The Truth,

                      It was the forrunner of the Federal Reserve system. The man was a visionary.

                      Nah, he wasn’t that clever. The idea came from northern merchants – you know, the plutocrats you hate.

                    2. I actually agree with you, The Truth, that it was a forerunner of the Fed…the worst fucking piece of inflationary, statist garbage that has ever been created, by and for the interests of bankers at the expense of common citizens.

                    3. The Truth|2.16.11 @ 6:55PM|#
                      “It was the forrunner of the Federal Reserve system…”

                      Just like dinosaurs were forerunners of mammals! Hey, some had four legs. That counts, doesn’t it?
                      Shut up and sit down, Jimmy.

        2. A basket case according to whom? Your high school / college history text book, which is written to justify statism? Why was there a strong anti-Federalist movement if it was so horrible?

          Also, I don’t care if we were a “joke” internationally. Why should we base a system of gov’t on how much other nations like it or don’t?

          1. Oh yeah, and I forgot to add:

            Somalia.

  39. I think that “The Truth” must be a spoof.

    Is there really a person alive that gets such a huge boner over a shiny train in China? It is not possible to be that excited over a choo-choo…jeezus. I am afraid that he may be a real person though, so I hesitate to tell him that outside of that train station China is a giant stinking shithole of a country.

    Just in case he is a real person don’t go posting links to pictures of the outskirts of Shanghai, or any of the other ecological disasters that China calls ‘cities’. He may commit suicide.

    Also, don’t say anything of what it is really like in Europe, it may shatter his sense of worldliness.

    ——

    Chad, I thought you died or something, but you’re here posting once again. Damn.

    1. I was kind of thinking that The Truth and Wadi whats-his-name were BOTH Tom Friedman counter-trolling us.

    2. Unfortunately, there are plenty of real people that have gotten off on the “miracles” of the Nazis, the USSR, China, etc. They don’t give a shit about human rights or the truth–which is, of course, that liberal governments and free(er) markets have driven the insane level of innovation of the past two centuries–because they just enjoy the idea of forcing people to pursue whatever insane utopian vision they happen to have this week.

      1. You guys should check out “An Idiot Abroad”,it’s a travel show with this miserable british guy doing all of the travel show stuff.

        In one episode he goes to China, and not the cool parts(TRAINS!) they usually show, but where people actually live. It’s pretty nasty. I’d feel bad taking a shit there…for my shit.

        1. “In one episode he goes to China, and not the cool parts(TRAINS!) they usually show, but where people actually live.”

          This would be like that fat turd Moore actually going to a real Cuban med center? Hilarious!
          BTW, I’d love to hear Da Troof after he had to take a leak in an average Chinese can; WHEW! I didn’t know I could hold my breath that long!

  40. Don’t worry, Governor Scott. Bobby Jindal refused the federal train money two years ago and he’s going to be reelected in a landslide. It turns out people just don’t believe the things the Democrats are saying about rail lines.

  41. Thanks to The Truth, I am completely hammered, and it’s only 6:50.

    Fuck, peak oil, teh roadz, choo choo trains…did I miss Somalia?

    Thanks, Teh Troof!

  42. So there you have it. We had a libertarian fantasyland in this country, and the Thousand Year Liber-Reich lasted about 10 years.

    1. Re: The Truth,

      We had a libertarian fantasyland in this country,

      At least the one that you construed in your head.

    2. Because it was co-opted by statists. Hamilton was a monster.

      And now, because I feel it’s past time, I’m going to break from actual discourse and say that, by defending him without knowing anything of his actual agenda for this nation, you are a fucking pedophile beast whose lips are flecked with corn and peanuts from all the shit you spew out of your statist fuck mouth, and I hope you die. In fact, I hope you come to Texas, and stand on my lawn, because we have pretty loose laws here regarding shooting people we find threatening. And I find your worship of dictatorships threatening.

      1. Yes, Hamilton was a monster, the REAL defender of liberty as a man who trafficked in human beings as chattel, right? And raped them??

        Yeah, I want THAT guy to be my President.

        1. The Truth|2.16.11 @ 7:01PM|#
          “Yes, Hamilton was a monster, the REAL defender of liberty as a man who trafficked in human beings as chattel, right? And raped them??”

          Leave Ted Kennedy out of this.

  43. “The loudest yelps for liberties are from the drivers of Negroes”.

    1. Jefferson had slaves, ergo libertarianism is false!

    2. Yeah yeah fuck the Founding Fathers (other than Thomas Paine). What does Hamilton vs. Jefferson have to do with trains?

      1. I know it seems dumb, but it started as a debate on the con-shit-tution v. the articles of confederation, hence the inclusion of Hamilton, then for some reason The Truth wanted to talk about Jefferson’s slaves.

    3. Speaking of the loudest yelps…

  44. “a high-speed rail network that Obama has likened to the national highway system”

    Subsidized roads are a good basis by which to justify more fiscally unsustainable public infrastructure, how?

  45. The Truth|2.16.11 @ 7:02PM|#
    “The loudest yelps for liberties are from the drivers of Negroes”.

    If you don’t have an argument, whny just pick some irrelevant quote ad post that.

  46. Look, screw this 19th Century train crap. What we really need is something right out of the 18th Century. That’s right, we need subsidies for canals! Trains use electricity, sucking the heart out of Gaia. Canals use safe, clean, green power in the form of horses to pull the barges.

    C’mon, folks, this is something we can all get behind!

    … Hobbit

    1. Horses! I’m long horses!

    2. Horses! I’m long horses!

  47. California will get around killing HSR. Just give us time.

    1. I agree with that, but believe that things will get worse before they get better.

      Right now, any private concerns that might want to offer truly new or innovative systems of transportation in competition with current “public transit” or other existing private modes, would find themselves being forced to go into partnership with government entities, in order to deal with the onerous regulations and other legal and political obstacles that routinely stifle new private developments in the transportation sector.

  48. Are you seriously suggesting that money for infrastructure only come from voluntary gifts ? Really?

    No, actually, I expect it to come from fees, fares or tolls. And I expect the capitalization to come from investors.

    If investors don’t see a potential for profit, it shouldn’t get built.

    Barrel, fish, BANG. That one was easy.

  49. You guys do realize that the hayday of railroads occurred far more recently than the hayday of limited government? Criticizing the idea of railroads because it’s old is a pretty bad idea for libertarians.

    1. Hayday is the new tow the lion.

      Hayday is my horse’s favorite day.

      1. Dammit, L, I’m a mathematician, not a grammarian!

    2. Tulpa|2.16.11 @ 8:58PM|#
      “You guys do realize that the hayday of railroads occurred far more recently than the hayday of limited government?”

      Well, I’d be more than happy with the not-so-limited government of, say, the 1920s than I am with the less-limited government of 2011.

  50. Oh, and freight rail transport is still quite profitable.

    1. Inspirational stories part IV:

      Go to the barn and get some hay. When i get my choke on. Fool you know i’m smokin on…… Hay now hay. We smokin up hay in the middle of the barn …

      —-Tulpa to his students 2011

      They learned calculus and got lifted, fool.

      fin.

      1. That’s pretty cheeky from someone who mispells “capital”.

    2. Tulpa|2.16.11 @ 9:00PM|#
      “Oh, and freight rail transport is still quite profitable.”

      Yes it is, in the US; the loading gauge (“The American loading gauge for freight cars on the North American rail network is generally based on standards set by the Association of American Railroads ” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loading_gauge ) is such that you can move freight on trains in the US cheaper at certain distances than road transport.
      In Europe, that’s not true. The European roads are clogged with truck transport because the loading gauge there was set by government bodies ( “In mainland Europe, the slightly larger Berne gauge (Gabarit passe-partout international, PPI) was agreed in 1912 and came into force in 1914.” same cite). Try finding a hole in the line of trucks to get off the (pot-holed) autobahns at the town you want to visit. Hint; get in line two or three towns in advance.
      Which might give you some idea about why Euros take the train; their roads are fucked because their governments made them so.
      All of which ignores that folks in the US use trains for personal transport pretty much only when they must.

      1. That’s interesting. They mentioned the gauge issue on this program on History about the proposed Bering Strait Tunnel. One of the hangups is that the same trains can’t travel on Russian and American railroads, and changing trains 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle is not a practical solution.

  51. In related news, Florida lawmakers will unveil a plan to reform or opt out of Medicaid.

    link

  52. TRAAIIINNNSSSS….. TRAAAAIIINNNSSSS…. TRAAAIIINNNNSSSS

  53. but, but, republicans hate teh gays! both parties are evil and there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between them, so I’m voting for hOpeBama.

  54. Okay, maybe Iam stupid. However, I always thought a privately owned high speed rail line would be a GOOD idea. It would releive some of the congestion from the roads, and serve as competition to the airlines. Granted the current rail system is a mess, largely do to the government, but with out Uncle Sam and less regulation, it is not a bad idea. Afterall, Japan claims it has trains that go 200mph+ and China claims it has rails that go over 400mph.I know that states have restrictions on
    any rail line going more than 70mph through their, state but maybe since Obama is so gung ho on high speed rail he would address the issue of rail speed limitations.

  55. Fact Florida has a terrible public transportation system! Rick Scott made the wrong decision, he is dumb and corropt as his head is shinny! The train would not only lower fuel emissions but it would also lower our dependance on foreign oil! Rick do one you wank!

  56. Fact Florida has a terrible public transportation system! Rick Scott made the wrong decision, he is dumb and corropt as his head is shinny! The train would not only lower fuel emissions but it would also lower our dependance on foreign oil! Rick do one you wank!

  57. Fact Florida has a terrible public transportation system! Rick Scott made the wrong decision, he is dumb and corropt as his head is shinny! The train would not only lower fuel emissions but it would also lower our dependance on foreign oil! Rick do one you wank!

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