Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson provides a blistering critique of the Obama administration’s plan for a national system of high-speed rail. Samuelson dismisses HSR as “pork-barrel” and “a perfect example of wasteful spending masquerading as a respectable social cause.”
Eight days before midterm elections, embattled Democratic candidates cheered the release of billions in federal funds for high-speed rail projects from New Hampshire to California, saying they would help create jobs in their economically bruised states.
The Transportation Department notified lawmakers of the money on Monday and will make a formal announcement on Thursday. The timing of the announcement raised questions about whether the administration was trying to help some Democratic candidates.
The biggest winners of an estimated $2.5 billion pot of money were California and Florida, which have competitive governor, House and Senate races. But numerous other states scored as well.
California will get another $902 million to advance the design and construction of a high-speed rail system initially running from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The money is in addition to $2.25 billion in stimulus money that’s headed to California for high-speed rail.