Tag Archives: highway

Infrastructure is Not Pork

Despite the numerous statements from President Obama, the media hasn’t yet really grasped the concept that spending is stimulus.  As the President said, “that’s the whole point.”

Yet, today we get the Washington Post passing off some press releases from a few anti-tax groups as original research and “news.”

The compromise stimulus bill adopted by House and Senate negotiators this week is not free of spending that benefits specific communities, industries or groups, despite vows by President Obama that the legislation would be kept clear of pet projects, according to lawmakers, legislative aides and anti-tax groups.

The deal provides $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, for example, including money that could benefit a controversial proposal for a magnetic-levitation rail line between Disneyland, in California, and Las Vegas, a project favored by  Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). The 311-mph train could make the trip from Sin City to Tomorrowland in less than two hours, according to backers. (WaPo 2/13/09

PhotobucketI don’t know if any of these anti-tax zealots have been on I-15 between Las Vegas and the LA area, but it’s a mess. An absolute cluster&*$%.  Trips that should take four hours, at most, take six or seven hours.  People end up just sitting on the freeway for hours at a time.  And it happens every. single. weekend. Every Friday, going from LA to Vegas is impossible.  And every Sunday the trip back is just as bad.  I just did a search on Google Images and I got a slew of images of people stuck in traffic. I liked this one best because people were just kind of hanging out in the middle of the highway. Here’s a flickr search for the same topic with similar copious results.

When I spent a summer in Orange County a few years back, I made the trek up to Vegas.  It’s not a bad ride. I mean, it’s pretty if you like desert and dusty mountains.  Gets kind of repetitive after a while, but the asthetics are quite striking.  You really are driving through the middle of the desert, with nothing really around. When an accident occurs, you get massive delays. Anybody who has ever done the trip understands why relaxing on a train would be a boon to the travel industry.

While there are other projects as worthy of support as this one, this one certainly will be a good investment.  It will save and create jobs now, and it will create jobs for the long-term.  The amount of time wasted on the 15 is an incredible inefficiency. It discourages people from traveling between the two tourist regions and spending money.  Building this project will be an enormous job boon.

After all this is what this is about right? Jobs? Or can you not see past your ideological blindspot. Infrastructure = jobs = economic stimulus.  And this project is a perfect example of that.  It’s just too bad that the Washington Post didn’t bother to actually, you know, think about why the project is necessary rather than transcribing anti-tax talking points.