Sunday, January 31, 2010

Laughable Funding

I'm not in the habit of laughing at billions of dollars. I still find it hard to imagine paying over $40 thousand for an automobile. But spreading something like $8 billion for HSR over 31 states - see this link - is very much like trying to buy that $40 thousand automobile by paying $400 a year so that it is paid off in 100 years.

The cosst of any HSR project that is even close to actualization is sbustantially more than the per-state amount of money that each of the 31 states would get - if the money is divided evenly. (See this line from Wired for an idea of what HSR will cost.) So I'm wondering if Mr. Obama thinks we are easily impressed - a billion is still a billion - or just stupid when he characterizes this as a lot of money.

My first reaction is to characterize it as too little too late. Based on the costs in the link above, the feds should be considering 10 times this amount right away, and more later.

The other laughable part of this is the report that this will generate jobs. Again, not right away, especially because most of the states that get these funds are cash-strapped, and not as far along in their HSR aspirations as those represented in the link above. I count only 15 states involved in the projects shown in the Wired link, so where are the other 16? Unless these states come up with a lot more money soon, no immediate jobs are going to result.

After laughing a little, I may cry a lot.

©2010 - C. A. Turek - mistertrains@gmail.com
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