Exposing Hillary So She Won't Get Elected

Why Hillary’s Promise of High Speed Rail is Just Another Lie

In nearly every industrialized nation, from Europe to Asia, travel between major cities works like this:

Using existing public transportation (subway, bus, monorail), one arrives at a centrally located downtown train station. Dozens of trains an hour depart in multiple directions. Ticket prices are reasonable, typically below air fares. You don’t need to arrive hours early, pay the cost of a decent meal for a cab or shuttle, or take off your shoes for security. If you miss a train, another one is soon departing. The trains are fast, many high speed rail lines reaching over 200 miles per hour. As important, the trains are reliable, arriving within minutes, or, in the case of Japan, seconds of their scheduled times. There’s plenty of space, and you can get up and walk around. You arrive at your destination, another centrally located downtown train station often minutes from your hotel or office, all reachable by public transportation. No one gives it too much thought — it all just works.

You’ve guessed it — along with free or low cost higher education, and universal free or low cost healthcare, reliable, clean, safe and reasonably priced high speed rail service seems to be impossible for the U.S. to accomplish, despite dozens of examples for getting it done from around the world.

Hillary Clinton has announced her support for high speed rail in the United States, stating she will “invest in a world-leading passenger rail system to meet rapidly growing demand and build a more mobile America.” Bernie Sanders also likes high speed rail.

And more good news: likely Republican nominee Donald Trump also likes high speed rail, stating ““China and these other countries, they have super-speed trains. We have nothing. This country has nothing. We are like the third world, but we will get it going and we will do it properly and, as I say, make America great again.”

Good ambitions, and perhaps a rare example of bipartisan agreement. But, and there is always a but.

The idea of high speed rail is a popular one. Barack Obama in 2010 announced he wished to spend $8 billion on high speed rail projects, saying “That investment is how we can break ground across the country, putting people to work building high-speed rail lines, because there’s no reason why Europe or China should have the fastest trains when we can build them right here in America.”

Speaking of Clinton’s, the Bill Clinton Administration in 1993 announced a five-year, $1.3 billion plan that would create Federal-state partnerships to develop high-speed train service.

In fact, high speed rail is such a good idea that President George H.W. Bush wrote a letter in 1989, to his home state of Texas, advocating for its development.

Quite a history, of hope. But after 25 some years of good ideas, America still doesn’t have its high speed rail system.

By comparison, Europe was introduced to high-speed rail when the LGV Sud-Est train line from Paris to Lyon opened in 1981, and the TGV started passenger service. China began building the Qinhuangdao–Shenyang High-Speed Railway in 1999. Japan has had its famous high speed Shinkansen since 1964.

Hillary Clinton was 17-years-old the year Japan’s high speed rail was inaugurated.

What’s the problem? There must be something, well, anti-American, about high speed rail that keeps it out of the United States. Let’s take a look.

High speed rail is energy efficient, fast, reliable, creates jobs in the building and the running, lessens the need for expensive repairs to aging and congested highways and bridges, takes cars off the road to reduce pollution, puts transportation hubs in city centers instead of inconvenient airports, is more weather tolerant than air travel and overall enhances commerce. But don’t just believe what you read here; go ask Japan, China, France, Germany, South Korea, Austria, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Uzbekistan…

It remains unclear what the problem is in America, where predictions and cost estimates regularly proclaim high speed rail just cannot be made to work in the United States. No one knows.

Oh, wait, one guy says he knows.

Andy Kunz, CEO of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association lays things out bluntly:

“Our country’s not really made a commitment to high-speed rail in a big way, at all. We have a lot of forces in this country that are trying to stop it. Mainly, the big industries in transportation who are making money now: big oil, big roads, aviation. Most of those industries do not really want to see a major rollout of high-speed rail all over America because they see that as a huge threat to their businesses. We, as a nation, have spent all our money on roads and aviation. Every move we make, every airplane, every bus, every truck, every car: It all runs on oil. We spend trillions of dollars on transporting, and procuring oil, not to mention what we’ve invested in war with oil-rich countries — treasure and lives.”

Funny thing — while the U.S. High Speed Rail Association is not listed among the top 20 industry lobbyists in the United States, the automotive, oil and air transport industries are.

So while we may all applaud Clinton’s (and Sanders’ and Trump’s) campaign promises to build high speed rail lines in the United States, we may also wish to take a look back at promises past, as well as lobbyists of the present, and make plane reservations instead.