The N&O recently published this hissy fit about North Carolina maybe not receiving
manna from heaven federal funds for high-speed rail boondoggles due to legislation (now stalled) requiring General Assembly approval of the funds before they are spent.
After all, Gov. Beverly Perdue’s administration was seeking $624 million to boost North Carolina’s part of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor. It wound up with $4 million. We can imagine how proud those rail skeptics in the legislature – Republicans who don’t want Democrats such as Perdue or President Obama to get credit for much of anything – must be. They might have protected the state from being showered with $620 million, which would allow scads of people to be hired and help give travelers another attractive option! Nice work, guys!
Opening the article in the tone of a spoiled adolescent is an appropriate precursor to the thoughtless commentary that follows. Is this really what passes for professional commentary at the N&O these days?
The authors proceed to lament that California “scored big” by securing funds for a rail project connecting LA to San Francisco. Left out of the article, of course, is the spiraling cost estimates for this boondoggle, estimated to have climbed 50% in just two years, and that’s before they have even broken ground. There’s no telling the massive price tag that will have to be paid for outlandish cost overruns for this project before it is completed. But this is the kind of “score” that the N&O editors want to inflict upon North Carolinians.
The article continues:
But there’s no reason for the state to back away from its plans for the high speed rail corridor, which would extend north from Raleigh.
No reason? The Locke Foundation put out a report detailing a few, namely: the short and long term burden on NC taxpayers due to predictable cost overruns and future maintenance, operation and replacement costs, the increase in fossil fuel consumption (in contrast to the claim that rail will decrease such usage), no detectable decrease in traffic congestion, and a drag on economic growth and job opportunity (as I discussed here).
N&O editors continue to blindly fetishize government-funded rail boondoggles without offering any coherent response to opponents.