Dick Prosence: Rails not a good idea
January 30, 2010
To the editor:
The national debt ceiling has just been increased by $1.9 trillion.
The total debt is a staggering amount and incomprehensible to most of us. And yet our president stands before Congress and proposes spending more than $8 billion on high-speed rail in various locations, including Florida and California. This is part of his "jobs" bill, formerly called "stimulus."
Few jobs will be created for many years.
Some design firms will win lucrative contracts, and some people will be put to work preparing environmental impact statements. Lawyers will benefit from lawsuits generated by property condemnations, but it will be a long time before construction workers will build anything.
This is not a good proposal for quickly adding to the job force.
Our national government must stop spending borrowed money, especially for ill-advised programs such as this.
If Florida and California want high-speed rail, they should tax themselves to pay for it. High-speed rail in isolated areas around the states is not in the national interest.
Only a nationwide integrated system would come close to meeting that standard. As an example, the interstate highway system was agreed to and approved by Congress before any money was allotted to it.
The more important message is: Stop all spending on unnecessary programs.