My rebuttal, PJRACER
1) This proposal if carried to fruition* would eliminate that long-distance Amtrak experience you plan on having, not just the HSR plan you don't like.
2) Various people have claimed repeatedly throughout the years that nobody will ride trains -- until they do.
Remember that Californians (and in particular Angelenos) were supposed to be so car-crazy you'd have to pull the steering wheels from their cold dead hands. Look at the ridership on the Amtrak California corridors now.
3) Who said the Chinese would be running it? As I recall, nobody's taken bids yet for who'll build and operate Florida HSR, much less picked the winner. And if it is the Chinese, or the Japanese, or the French, it's because we Americans have thrown away our post-WWII technological advantage in railways and stood idle while the whole industrialized world passed us by, for no greater reason than morons grunting that "billions for highways good, millions for railways bad."
*Not that it will be. There are Representatives from Amtrak-served states (and from Maryland and Virginia for the proposed end of DC Metro funding) who will have something to say about it, as will the Senate. This isn't to say we shouldn't advocate against such proposals to our elected officials -- we definitely should -- just that we shouldn't get too pessimistic. The flipside of Green Maned Lion
's "don't rely on a proposed train until it's actually running" is my "don't rely on a zero-budget for Amtrak until it actually becomes law." Amtrak has
actually managed to add trains (usually state-sponsored ones), while Congress hasn't passed a zero-budget for Amtrak yet.