When Twits Tweet Part II

Curb your enthusiasm Governor. Maryland isn’t getting “high speed rail.” The state is simply getting $22 million in federal funds—originally earmarked for an Orlando-Tampa rail boondoggle—to upgrade a rail bridge over the Susquehanna River.

Florida Governor Rick Scott wisely sent the money back to Washington.

Furthermore, as Cato’s Randal O’Toole shows us the whole affair is a big notch in the loss column for President Obama:

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In essence, the administration has given up on high-speed rail. New York Times editorial writers haven’t figured that out yet, opining that Florida Governor Scott made a dreadful mistake when he rejected the rail money. In fact, as tax activist Doug Guetzloe told a Tampa newspaper, “Federally funded rail is like being given a brand new Maserati and then you have to pick up the gas and the insurance — forever. The car looks great, but the costs will kill you.”

The Times suggested that Florida taxpayers will resent Scott’s decision whenever they are stuck in traffic. But no one seriously believes that intercity rail will ever relieve traffic congestion, most of which is in cities, not between them. In its original application for high-speed rail funds, Florida’s DOT admitted that Orlando-to-Tampa traffic grows more every five years than all the cars the trains were expected to take off the road, so at best high-speed rail was a very expensive and temporary solution to congestion.

Outside of the Times editorial offices, most transportation experts agree that the President’s high-speed rail program is over and his draft transportation bill is dead on arrival. Taxpayers throughout the country should thank Scott (as well as Ohio Governor John Kasich and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker) for saving them the hundreds of billions of dollars that Obama’s program would have eventually cost.

But not in Maryland we live off spending other people’s money.

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