CEI Daily - High-Speed Rail, Barack Obama, and Green Jobs


High-Speed Rail


In Tuesday's State of the Union, Obama said he wanted 80% of Americans to have access to high-speed rail by 2036.


Policy Analyst Marc Scribner says that the President is overly optimistic about current and proposed high-speed rail projects in the U.S.


"One of the proposed corridors the president mentioned was the seven-state Midwest Chicago Hub Network. Despite Mr. Obama’s optimism, the situation on the ground is quite bleak. Wisconsin and Ohio recently elected governors who campaigned heavily against high-speed rail investment in their states, and the Obama administration pulled stimulus funds for the projects out of those two states. In addition to Wisconsin and Ohio, this move effectively takes Minnesota service off the table."



Barack Obama


President Obama's State of the Union was marked by a characteristic message of hope; but the substance of the speech left many people unsatisfied.


Fellow in Regulatory Studies Ryan Young talks about the problem with the address.


"The speech’s overall theme was the future. But it was surprisingly backward-looking. If anything, it affirmed that President Obama remains intent on making his presidency into George W. Bush’s third term. President Bush was the first president to pass a $2 trillion budget and the first to pass a $3 trillion budget. Obama is on his way to passing a $4 trillion budget before he leaves office."



Green Jobs


President Obama has called for more investment in green energy and green jobs.


Senior Counsel Hans Bader explains why Americans should be concerned about government investment in the green energy industry.


"This is a bad sign for American workers, because such green jobs programs have wiped out thousands of American jobs in the past.  The $800 billion stimulus package used 'green-jobs' subsidies to send American jobs overseas79 percent of those subsidies went to foreign firms, such as an Australian firm that imported Japanese wind turbines, effectively outsourcing American jobs.  (The stimulus package also wiped out jobs in America’s export sector.)  Moreover, some 'green jobs' funding actually damages the environment, like ethanol subsidies:  ethanol mandates actually harm the environment, yet the Obama administration apparently considers them to be a 'green jobs' program."