It was more fitting than President Barack Obama could have imagined when he invoked the memory of Abraham Lincoln’s backing of the first transcontinental railroad in his bid to boost his latest infrastructure spending stimulus.
“So we are repeating history in more ways than the stimulus spenders let on, with a gusher of money flowing into crony corporations promising a cleantech cornucopia. There is a difference this time, though. The outcome is going to be a lot worse. While the first transcontinental railroad was a financial disaster for both investors and U.S. taxpayers, the line continued to provide valuable service to customers even after going into receivership. That’s because no matter how badly the politicians and financiers screwed up or how much money they stole to line their pockets, taking the train still beat covered wagons and stagecoaches.”