The Great Train Con, Part 2

Cato’s Randal O’Toole on the high-tech rail boondoggle for The Michigan View. O’Toole details how Midwest states cooked the books in order to attract millions in federal subsidies discarded by Florida to build “high-speed rail.” Part 2 of 2:

When the Michigan Department of Transportation first applied for federal high-speed rail funds, it justified its application using a 2006 economic analysis that claimed the benefits would be 1.8 times greater than the costs. A close scrutiny of that analysis, however, shows that Michigan cooked the books.

The state wildly exaggerated the benefits while underestimating the costs of high-speed rail.

The report was written by a consulting firm called Transportation Economics and Management Systems, which specializes in analyses of passenger rail projects. From the reports it has written, its staff never met a train they didn’t want someone else to subsidize. Rail advocates like to hire consultants like this because they know they will come up with the answer they want – no matter how much the proposed train project will cost.

Read more at The Michigan View here.

Most Popular

Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More