Daily Archives: February 15, 2011

Laws Republicans Should Pass #13: Trains!

Obama wants to spend some $53 Billion on high speed trains! Obama is clearly mad…but you would know that if you looked at his budget.

We have more debt than the country could literally pay off in a year even if we focused on nothing but debt! And he wants to tack on another $53 Billion. Granted at this point $53 Billion is chump change, but when our attitude should be taking a machete to the budget adding to it is not the answer.

But the argument from Obama and his ilk goes something like this: high speed rail is better for the environment. Building it will create jobs. It will increase economic activity. It will lower our dependence on oil. It will lower shipping prices, and thus benefit the economy even more. There are more arguments, but you get the idea. High speed trains are not only cool; they’re good for the economy.

I agree completely. So if they’re good for the economy that means there is money to be made. And if there is money to be made then there are private investors to be found.
So why don’t private investors invest in high speed rail? Well…
1. Government regulation will stop any private endeavor in its tracks.
2. Right now any new investment will be taxed to death by the socialist-in-chief if he has his way.
3. No system can be productive if unions are allowed to dictate as they currently are in the rail industry.

So I have a compromise for Obama. Let;s pass a bill that will destroy all the useless red tape, require open shops for the rail industry, and for the icing on the cake, any investment into high speed rail will not be taxable—the initial investment will be treated like a donation to charity and tax deductible, the capital gain and dividends will not be taxed for, let’s say, 20 years. I think you would easily find the investment money then…and with those incentives if nobody wants to invest, it probably wasn’t an industry that would have done anything in the first place.
Now liberals will object to lots of things about my proposal. They’ll have objections to shoving their Democratic Party Fundraising arm known as the unions out. Like I care. Union leaders and members should be grateful we don’t try the lot for treason for what they’ve done to this country.

Others will complain that by exempting the investment from taxes I’m not concerned with the debt either. This objection doesn’t quite me a prima facie case for logic but I’ll deal with anyway. Yes we might take in a little less revenue on the front end, but all those construction workers laying rail are getting paid (taxable income) and buying things (sales tax) and they’re placing orders to steal foundries and companies that make high speed trains (dear God let there be some other company other than GE for this) and those companies have to pay more people and invest more…and you know how the cycle of this logic works.

I love trains. Most economic conservatives love trains (we’ve all read Atlas Shrugged a little too much). We’re not opposed to high speed trains. But there is a way to have high speed rail that works (the private sector) and a way to have a system that costs a lot, doesn’t work, doesn’t run on time, and has a high chance of killing you (government run Amtrack).

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Filed under Capitalism, Government is useless, Laws the GOP should pass