Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NY Times editor doesn't read the NY Times

The NY Times editorial Sunday scolded Florida's Governor Scott for rejecting federal money for high-speed rail:

There is no sound economic justification for the decision by Gov. Rick Scott of Florida to reject $2.4 billion in federal financing for the vital Tampa-to-Orlando high-speed rail project. Political pandering to his Tea Party supporters is the only explanation we can come up with...High-speed trains are booming as basic necessities for the nation’s global competitors in Europe and China...The Obama administration laced its disappointment with notice that Florida’s financing---and economic benefits---will be shifted to other states where the demand is high. California and New York are lining up.

Actually, you don't have to look very far to come up with a "sound economic" explanation. Last month Wendell Cox and Robert W. Poole explained why Governor Scott was worried about accepting federal money for the project: Florida taxpayers would have been responsible for the inevitable cost overruns for construction and the operating expenses after the project was built. High-speed rail advocates routinely downplay both construction costs and the operating expenses of these projects. (See the recent "A Train to Nowhere but Bankruptcy" explaining why Governor Brown should follow Governor Scott's example.)

Odd that the Times editorial cites China's HSR as an example to be emulated, when three days earlier the Times reported that China has major financial problems with its system.

Don't the editors read their own paper?

Thanks to High-Speed Train Talk for the links.