Take the Train to the Plan

Your article about train transportation to and from airports touched on a favorite topic (ENR 12/15/03 p. 61). However, I have a more drastic suggestion for construction of new airports for major cities as they become needed.

Because airports need a lot of space, new ones are usually built in undeveloped areas, permitting more free air operations. Unfortunately, because airports also provide ready markets of large numbers of people with specific needs, and they need a ready labor force, they are usually magnets for development of all types. And development leads to more development in an ever-increasing cycle, eventually causing problems for airport operation itself.

My proposal is to have new airports built in rural/less developed areas further from the cities they serve and be connected to terminal facilities in or near the served city by a high-speed rail line. This would not totally eliminate development near airports but would slow it greatly.

Many major midwestern, western and southern cities, not to mention international cities with growing needs, would be ideal to test this concept.

Get Real

Since when have the editors of ENR ceased to live in the real world they weekly report to their readers? The editorial statement, "$1.6 trillion dollars in...tax cuts that were not needed" demonstrates a lack of understanding of the dynamic nature of the U.S. economy and ignorance (or indifference) to the fact our industry and the country were in an economic recession prior to the enactment of this tax relief (ENR 2/16 p. 60).

The editor’s opinion ignores the historical track record of economic stimulus produced each time a reduction in the income tax rates has been enacted during our lifetime. It is not tax cuts that were unneeded, but inaction in the face of a worsening recession. Tax cuts are a means of reviving a faltering economy and not to have enacted them would have been a disservice to the many jobless workers with whom these same editorial pages have recently professed solidarity.

Even with the modest rate reductions enacted by Congress, the gross receipts to the U.S. Treasury are projected to increase during the next five years by a total of more than $818 billion dollars, while spending is expected to increase by $534 billion during the same period.

With revenue increases like these, perhaps permanent tax relief is needed instead of the tepid temporary rate reductions enacted by this Congress.