Preposterous Pork from the Stimulus Bill II

by Mr Juggles

We are being paid $700 million to create satirical content about social justice

The deal provides $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, for example, including money that could benefit a controversial proposal for a magnetic-levitation rail line between Disneyland, in California, and Las Vegas, a project favored by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). The 311-mph train could make the trip from Sin City to Tomorrowland in less than two hours, according to backers.

Line Item: $8bn for a maglev train to connect Disneyland to Las Vegas
Source: Washington Post —-> Despite Pledges, Package Has Some Pork [there’s a shocker]
Rationale: Undoubtedly some wealthy donor to Reid’s campaigns stands to obtain the construction contract and/or has purchased lots of land on the corridor that will need to be purchased for the right of way.
Preposterous?!: Los Angeles to Las Vegas is already a very easy 4hr drive. This is why LA residents are already the top visitors to LV. Furthermore, it is a cheap, easy flight served by numerous airlines; there are round trip flights available every day of this month for less than $150. Which means $8bn could pay for approximately 53mm Los Angeles residents to fly to Las Vegas and back instead of building a maglev train that will be inevitably be way late and over budget (see Big Dig) and likely won’t run at promised speeds (see Amtrak’s Acela).

Bonus item that didn’t actually make it in: “Republicans also killed or reduced a number of projects they considered objectionable, such as $200 million to re-sod the Mall in Washington.
Preposterous?!: What the hell type of sod costs $200mm?! That works out to $650k per acre or $15 per sq ft. You could cover the mall in gold leaf for that much money. Literally.

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