David Weigel recently wrote an article in Slate titled, “Why do conservatives hate trains so much?” He decried Republican governors’ rejection of billions of dollars of Obama deficit spending to build high-speed trains in their states. That doesn’t make sense to liberals, says Weigel.
He also can’t figure out why George W. Bush tried to zero-out funding for Amtrak in 2005, and why some House Republicans want to zero it out now. Weigel then goes on and on about why we should transform our country – do what the Europeans do – and invest in trains.
Let’s get this high-speed train nonsense out of the way in short order. Obama and Democrats aren’t promising to fund high-speed railways; they are promising billions of dollars in seed money that would largely benefit unions. States would be stuck with the inevitable out-of-control cost overruns to finish the railroads. Then they’d be stuck forever subsidizing them – because we Americans, by and large, don’t like mass transit.
Which brings us to Amtrak. It’s a huge money loser. Always has been, always will be. But East Coast liberals use it to travel to and from Boston, New York, and Washington – so they want everybody else to pay for it.
The real question is: why do liberals love trains? Easy answers: Liberals are always looking for a free ride – on taxpayer money. They love copying Europeans. They hate cars, oil, and the freedom they provide. Last but not least – because liberalism itself is one giant train wreck … on the high-speed rail to socialism.
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