Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lyle Lanley is now our President?

(Via Reason's Hit and Run blog)

It looks like Obama is going to propose a high speed rail system as a way to create jobs.
A day after delivering a State of the Union address aimed at showing recession-weary Americans he understands their struggles, President Barack Obama intends to award $8 billion in stimulus funds to develop high-speed rail corridors and sell the program as a jobs creator.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden plan to announce grants for 13 major corridors during a town hall meeting in Tampa, Fla., Thursday, the president's first public appearance following his speech to the nation. It's an attempt by the White House to show that getting Americans back to work is the president's top priority and that he has a plan for how to do it.
The president's visit to the region means Florida's proposal for a high-speed line connecting Orlando and Tampa is likely to receive funding. California's proposal for an 800-mile-long rail line from Sacramento to San Diego and a nine-state proposal in the Midwest are also considered strong contenders.
The $8 billion in funding for high-speed trains and other passenger rail projects is part of the $787 billion recovery act. Besides the 13 corridors receiving grants, a White House official said several smaller awards will be made for improvements to existing rail lines. Overall, 31 states will receive funds.
The official said the projects are expected to create or save tens of thousands of jobs in areas like track-laying, manufacturing, planning and engineering, though there is no time frame for how long it will take for those jobs to develop. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak ahead of the president's announcement.
Though the White House is quick to point out that the economy is no longer on the brink of a depression, as it was when Obama took office, stemming the free fall hasn't translated into job growth. The unemployment rate has hovered near 10 percent for several months, while Obama's approval ratings have dropped.
With that in mind, Obama will spend about two-thirds of his speech on the economy, telling Americans in specific terms that he understands their struggles. He'll reinforce that message in the coming weeks by laying out a number of job creation initiatives, the first of which will be the high-speed rail grant awards to announced Thursday in Tampa. Trips to Maryland and New Hampshire will follow.
So, we're going to spend $8 BILLION dollars to help "create or save" THOUSANDS of jobs?  So, we're going to continue digging ourselves deeper into debt while unemployment is above 10 percent?  Well, this shouldn't surprise me, because you know what they say, "the government has to print money to make money."  Or something like that.

I'm going to assume that the possibility of the light rail proposal means the rumor that the President was going to propose "a three-year 'freeze' on non-defense federal spending" is false.  Unless he's going to have the gall to suggest that a light rail system is necessary for homland security and national defense.

If only there was some event from the past that could give us an idea of how this whole scheme might work out.

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