Gentlemen, let's not turn this into the coast vs the heartland debate...
I'm a bit disturbed by your philosophy and slightly offended by your perception of life in the northeast. I can see how you would draw your conclusions however.
Regarding the perception of the northeast, it's also not so much wealth (although many wealthy folks do live in the northeast) as it is about the cost of living. As stated before, you pay allot more for allot less in the Northeast compared to other parts of the country. It's a fact. So in a sense the northeast is paying its fair share in an indirect way. To ignore this means that whoever's opinion is consistent with your claims is not looking at the situation holistically. Many studio apartment dwellers in NYC for example will likely be able to afford a house out in Nebraska. I've seen it for myself. In all fairness however, one could say it balances out because wages are lower in the Midwest compared to the Northeast but again; it's about cost of living; not wealth. Try moving to NY and getting a higher wage and then living off that wage. I almost guarantee you your standard of living would have to decrease. Personally; there's no way I'd be able to afford the two bedroom apt. I currently have in Baltimore if I lived in NY (especially within close proximity to downtown) and if I did, it would be much smaller.
Incomes may be higher, but it's by necessity and survival, not luxury.
HSR dollars in the NE makes sense because the land use supports it. It's much more dense. It's also a region where it's been proven by our half-way attempt at HSR with Acela on the existing NEC (it's not true HSR but an incremental approach that yielded results). The fact that Acela is one of he few trains that generates a profit proves that HSR can work if built the right way. The question is whether or not the majority of the public can afford it; especially on a national scale as proposed by Obama in his first term.