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The Great Train Robbery


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the-great-train-robberyAmerican Spectator:

NOTHING FITS the Obama administration’s economic project better than high-speed rail. It’s based on visions of a utopian future, employs gobs of union labor in its construction, can be used to reward political allies and donors, and makes use of analysts eager to churn out dubious studies justifying it on economic grounds. Call it Solyndra on steroids.

The poster child for high-speed rail is California’s proposed 500-mile bullet train from Anaheim to San Francisco. Since it would begin at Disneyland and end at cultural la-la land, critics can’t resist snarking that the train would be on a fast track from “Fantasy to Delusion.”

California voters approved a $10 billion bond for high-speed rail by 53 percent back in 2008. At the time, the state’s high-speed rail authority touted a price tag of only $33 billion, most of it to be financed by grants from Washington, D.C., and money from private investors. No subsidies would be needed; train fares would cover all of the project’s operating costs. But now things look different. The authority currently estimates the gold-plated train will cost upwards of $98 billion.Scissors-32x32.png

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