The Spectacle Blog

Reid’s Gambling Train

By on 2.12.09 | 1:29PM

AP reports:

In late-stage talks, Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pressed for $8 billion to construct high-speed rail lines, quadrupling the amount in the bill that passed the Senate on Tuesday.

The Senate Conservatives Fund has more details:

This of course exposes the little game the President is playing with the public. He tells everyone there are no earmarks in the bill but then turns around and either (a) gives the money to the states, which he knows will fund the earmarks, or (b) instructs his agencies to fund the earmarks directly. It's all very clever, if not deceptive.

Reid's high-speed gambling train not only violates the President's guiding principles for this bill, it also violates American taxpayers.

This so-called MagLev train (magnetic levitation) is estimated to cost $12 billion. Reid earmarked $45 million last year for the public transportation project from California to Las Vegas, which is in direct competition with a private high-speed train company, DesertXpress, which is building a train on a similar route with all private funding. It's not just an earmark, it's a job killing earmark.

I grew up in Atlantic City with a father in the casino business, so I guess that means I have ties to "big gaming," but that doesn't cloud by judgment when it comes to multi-billion dollar taxpayer-funded boondoggles. 

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