In Florida, Governor Rick Scott says no to $2.4 billion in federal funding for a high-speed rail system. Scott has a constituency to please, you see, and they don't like federal dollars on principle.
There's a married couple somewhere asking themselves where they want to go for vacation. "Tampa or Orlando?" says one of them. "Both!" says the other.
Scott's constituency doesn't like them either, which is kind of a shame because I hear tourism's pretty big in Florida.
It's pretty big here, too, and --would ya look at that?-- we could use some dough for a high speed rail line too. Now admittedly a Denver-Aspen/Vail connection probably would cost more to operate than a Tampa-Orlando connection and might not bring in as many tourist dollars, but we do have a lot of rich people who could pay for it up there, and not just the celebrities.
The people who own the companies that hire the celebrities live up there too. If you're a billionaire and you don't own property in Aspen or Vail, something's wrong with you. You're not doing it right.
But you'll never get those people to pay for something like this, not unless they're getting a piece on the back end.
Nope, the ones who pay for it will be the poor schlubs driving up there on their day off to blow steam and have fun. Mr. Richy Pants will just take a private jet. Fuck it, it's quicker. And the cost, justified by the cost of the vacation spread.
The schlub will be in miles long, bumper to bumper traffic, hoping the tunnel's not closed, hoping they can even make it to the lift. He's going to pay for it, if not in lost time and wasted gas, then in another little pinch of tax.
A private flight to Aspen to a billionaire is like a bus ticket to you or me, so you can bet he's skipping that whole mess. Wouldn't you?