His 2010 State of the Union ditched the mercifully forgotten light bulb screwing in boondoggle in favor of 57 new flavors of pork, along with an implausible “discretionary spending freeze”. Thus Obama’s appearance at a rally in Tampa on Thursday trumpeted a new brainstorm—handing over $1.25 billion for a Train to Nowhere.
Obama has called for the construction of a high-speed rail line that will run from the Orlando airport all of 75 miles to a To Be Announced destination in the sprawling Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metroplex. (The current best guess for the Tampa Bay terminus seems to be “a little past Ybor City.”)
Think about it. (Obama hasn’t.) Rail travel works best connecting centralized cities. Orlando is hardly centralized. But Tampa Bay is likely the least suitable metropolitan area in America for an expensive new rail system: its center is salt water.
Q. After you drive to south suburban Orlando International Airport, park, and wait for the ObamaTrain, it accelerates up to 168 mph but then soon starts decelerating so it can grind to a halt somewhere near Tampa (meaning it will only average 86 mph), what do you do next?
A. You stand in line at the Hertz counter to rent a car to drive to your actual destination in the far-flung Tampa Bay exurbs. (For example, it’s 25 miles from downtown Tampa to downtown St. Petersburg.)
Wouldn’t it have been simpler and cheaper just to drive from Orlando?
January 29, 2010
My new VDARE.com column, "Obama Falls to Earth -- But He Still Has the GOP" is up.