THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION MAY APPROVE A $3.7 BILLION RAILROAD REHABILITATION & IMPROVEMENT FINANCING (RRIF) LOAN TO VIRGIN TRAINS, owned by SoftBank Group based in Tokyo, to build a high-speed passenger train project on a freight rail line owned by Grupo Mexico.
SoftBank Group and Grupo Mexico could easily afford to issue their own bonds to cover these costs.
"This is the definition of crony capitalism, where private companies that can afford to sustain themselves nonetheless come to taxpayers looking for grants or low-cost loans to mitigate their risk," comments Robert Romano of the Daily Torch.
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
Meanwhile, higher-speed rail has not been fully regulated in the state of Florida. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) study states "While the Federal Railroad Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation have in place regulations for conventional (up to 80mph) and high-speed (126 mph to 220 mph) rail, neither agency has developed additional regulations that are specific to higher-speed rail (81mph to 125mph).”
The project has also been met with harsh criticism regarding safety concerns. Since its initial test runs in January of 2017, 14 fatalities have been reported. The project is also facing two local lawsuits.
Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning urges the Trump administration to reject the project, saying "Limited government means ending capitalism and the Trump administration needs to just say no to the lobbyists trying to reach into the taxpayers' pockets."
Read more here.