in Houston, Texas
Brakes hit on high-speed rail program
Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011, 12:28PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
high-speed train

Americans who thrilled to the idea of a brilliant tracer-path show made by a national network of bullet trains they paid for can now watch a spark shower of wheels grinding in reverse.

Not only did President Obama agree to cancel funding for the coming year for a federally subsidized high-speed rail system, one of his favorite projects, he signed off on giving back $400 million that had been approved last year, according to a story by the New York Times

This is the third time in six months a Department of Transportation not known for its frugality is getting back the suddenly unpopular rail funding. Rick Scott, the new governor of Florida, returned $2.4 billion his predecessor had accepted. The governors of Wisconsin and Ohio shipped back nearly $1.2 billion this past December.

The governors contended that their state taxpayers could not afford the inevitable cost overruns to build their segments of the system or to support it once it was built.

Texas, which hasn’t taken high-speed rail seriously for 30 years, drew about $12 million from the program last year, mostly to study the idea.

The brake chain pulled, the Department of Transportation is left to figure out what is to become of a rail plan in which taxpayers have so far invested $10.5 billion. The president had envisioned spending $53 billion over the next six years and providing high-speed rail access to 80 percent of Americans by 2035.
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or

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Photo of high-speed train in England by flickr user James F Clay, used via a Creative Commons license.
Wednesday, 04/13/2011 - 01:02PM

I suggest we abandon Obamacare($1 trillion), stop these ridiculous, undeclared/unconstitutional wars ($3 trillion), allow those states that want to leave the union do so and then allow each state (whether in or out of the union) to decide for themselves what they want to do with their tax dollars.

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