Here is a former member of the California High Speed Rail Authority threatening state legislatures with political consequences if they do not vote to fund the project.
Ron Diridon argued in favor of the project in a article that praised Communist China for building it’s own high speed rail. From the SF Chronicle:
Every industrialized, competitive country in the world, except the United States, has high-speed rail. Those 30-plus lines with 30 more planned were built by governments creating jobs, increasing mobility and fighting climate change. China, in less than 10 years, boasts more than 5,000 miles of 225 mph electrically powered trains, investing some $88 billion last year alone. Even Brazil, Morocco and Vietnam have begun systems.
Can’t the richest nation in the world afford high-speed rail? American Public Transportation Association-sponsored research shows high-speed rail creates more state and federal taxes revenues during the project’s 50-plus-year useful life than the construction costs. Those projections don’t include added franchise fees and corporate, sales and property taxes.
Indeed, the citizens are ahead of the politicians. The January independent Harris poll shows that 62 percent support federal funding for President Obama’s national high-speed rail legacy. Californians polled higher, with 76 percent favoring. President Franklin D. Roosevelt “built” the nation out of the depression by investing in roads, parks and other public works. So history declares President Obama right in demanding $8 billion for high-speed rail in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act…