Does Joe Biden think people are stupid, or just so intellectually lazy that they’ll believe him like Dorothy believed the Wizard of Oz’s claims to perform magic?
The new El Presidente not only seems hard-pressed to find any portion of the U.S. Constitution he is not eager to shred, as Eric Boehm reports for Reason, Biden wants to double-down on spending in areas where the feds for years have been breaching the Constitution in the most egregiously insulting and wasteful ways.
And he’s employing fantasy-laden rhetoric as part of his strategy.
According to Boehm, Wednesday, April 7, Biden told avid listeners at the White House that we’re all going to be thrown on the sacrificial tracks of public transportation boondoggles a lot more, because, as the paltry palaver pushers always say without any shred of evidence, it’s “good for the environment” and “good for America.”
’What we're really doing is raising the bar on what we can imagine,’ Biden said in remarks at the White House on Wednesday afternoon. ‘Imagine a world where you and your family can travel coast to coast without a single tank of gas on a high-speed train close to as fast as you can go across the country in a plane.’
As Boehm observes, you’re going to have to have a pretty powerful imagination.
Yes, imagine that. You'll have to, because it's not likely to be something you'll ever experience in real life.
For context, the fastest speed that a train has ever achieved—not while carrying passengers, mind you, but just as an experiment—is 357 mph. Over long distances, while carrying passengers and making stops at stations, the world's speediest train is China's Beijing to Nanjing line, which runs at slightly less than 200 mph.
Meanwhile, the average speed of a commercial jet in the United States is about 500 mph.
Then, there’s AMTRAK, the federally-created train system that – like all government rail systems in history -- has never, ever, run in the black.
Stephen J. Gardner, the Senior VP of Amtrak in 2019, now the President,recently admitted, ‘We have one train a day that shows up on a two-thousand mile journey. Maybe it shows up in the middle of the night. Maybe it shows up on time. Maybe it doesn’t…’ Yet the feds continue to make us pay for it so we can subsidize those few who ride it and those businesses positioned near the stations.
Of course, there is nothing in the US Constitution granting any so-called “power” for the feds to either run trains or “own” rail lines. The only property the federal government constitutionally can “own” is Washington, DC, territories, and land for military garrisons. Federal rail lines, like “national monuments” and “parks” are unconstitutional – period.
And Joe likening the speeds of Earth-hugging trains to planes is even crazier when one considers the fact that planes operate “as the crow flies”, without great zigzags and detours (though political forces did insert themselves into the air route system, directing routes to “hubs” chosen for political purposes, not market purposes). Passenger trains also operate on lines used by freight trains, which usually travel much more slowly. And they all make frequent stops.
So the average speed is often slower than that of automobiles traveling on highways.
This kind of fantastical rhetoric from Biden is completely unhinged from reality.
And Boehm notes:
It's also how you end up making decisions based more on marketing the speed of your trains than on the actual speed of your trains. When Amtrak announced in 2016 that its new fleet of Acela trains would have a higher speed of 160 mph, it was supposedly meant to provide passengers with ‘the experience of the future,’ according to Amtrak's then-president and CEO, Joe Boardman.
And he adds:
There are just three short segments in the Acela corridor where trains are safely allowed to exceed 130 mph. Having trains that can go 160 mph is not the same as trains that actually go 160 mph.
Here’s an idea.
Instead of using a tax-funded platform to push more tax-expenditures on more unconstitutional rail graft and waste, why doesn’t the wealthy Joe Biden resign, unite with other politicians who willingly leave office, and start his own “high-speed” rail company?
Why, if it is such a good idea to “invest” other people’s money, won’t he allow other people to decide if it’s a god investment?
As my friends and I often note government is that entity of force which pushes such good ideas, they require force to get folks to fund them.
Joe Biden’s Oz-like statements don’t hide the potential predation. And, no matter how much he pretends, government trains aren’t the Ruby Slippers that can magically transport us anywhere we like.
They’re burdens on people who should be left alone.
(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)