Clearing up some misconceptions about high-speed rail

Posted: Jun. 19, 2011 10:40 am Updated: Oct. 15, 2014 9:35 am


To The Herald-Whig:

From reading Mark Tuley's letter (June 9) which was in response to my previous letter, it would appear that Mark has a few misconceptions about myself and the issue of high-speed rail.

First, I am a guy, as in Hood or Williams.

Second, I stated that American politicians, in general, are in favor of supporting high-speed rail because of the increasing economic power of China. American taxpayer money will be paying for a system in gradual installments over the next two or three decades. Most American politicians accept that to compete globally, we will need such a transportation system established.

Third, case in point, Republicans did not wish to cut the $2 billion that is currently beginning this massive undertaking, even though $40 billion was trimmed in the budget. Why? Because high-speed rail is vital for our future national interests.

Fourth, in reference to our current economic situation, Tuley wrote, "We can't borrow our way out of this, we can't print our way out of this, we can't spend our way out of this -- like you suggest." Hmm. When did I suggest any of that?

I stated that the government does have an agenda for high-speed rail. Very little of it concerns current economic situations, with the exception of an extremely slight increase in job creation. I completely agree with Tuley's sentiment, concerning our present times.

However, I would also throw in one caveat, that the government must be careful on what to cut. It's one thing to cut the pork when it concerns frivolous flowers at the White House or President Obama's $20,000 date night to New York on Air Force Two, but it's another issue when cutting government programs.

Take for example NASA. Because of the ending of the shuttle program and budgetary cuts, 23,000 jobs at or around Kennedy Space Center have been lost. Highly skilled workers have lost their homes or have moved away from the Cocoa Beach, Fla., area. Unemployment is around 12 percent and the state is expected to lose at least $1 billion per year in revenue because of NASA's scale down.

Sixth, the IMF is not going to switch the world monetary standard. Tuley's futuristic scenario of 50-60 percent unemployment is unfounded.

Now, to end with, a real, sobering nightmare. Cerium, neodymium and dysprosium are metals for technology. America doesn't have much of them. But, what about China?


Robin Anderson

Hannibal, Mo.


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