Sacramento Cannot Stop Spending Even When the Wallet is Empty

Russ Steele

California is $16 billion in the hole, but our spendthrift political leaders want to waste $3.5 million a day building a high speed rail that no one will ride, and is really not high speed over 1/4 of the route. It will cost less in time and money to fly.  The LA Times has the construction story:

If California starts building a 130-mile segment of high-speed rail late this year as planned, it will enter into a risky race against a deadline set up under federal law.

The bullet train track through the Central Valley would cost $6 billion and have to be completed by September 2017, or else potentially lose some of its federal funding. It would mean spending as much as $3.5 million every calendar day, holidays and weekends included — the fastest rate of transportation construction known in U.S. history, according to industry and academic experts.

Over four years, the California High-Speed Rail Authority would need as many as 120 permits, mostly from a tangle of government regulatory agencies not known to rush their business. It would need to acquire about 1,100 parcels of land, many from powerful agriculture interests that have already threatened to sue. And it would need to assemble five teams of contractors with giant workforces positioned from Fresno to Bakersfield, moving millions of tons of gravel, steel rail and heavy equipment across the valley.

What could possibly go wrong with this massively expensive boondoggle?  This is exactly the sort of thing that will insure we become a bankrupt ward of the Federal government.  The eventual cost of the project will be $98 billion!  We cannot afford a crippled high speed rail that no one will ride?  Time to throw out the big spenders!


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

5 Responses to Sacramento Cannot Stop Spending Even When the Wallet is Empty

  1. Arthur M. Day. says:

    The price of buying votes with borrowed money. The party is almost over and the bill collectors are coming up the steps.

  2. Dixon Cruickshank says:

    mindboggling is kinda an understatement

  3. sean2829 says:

    Another sad thing is that a portion of the settlement the banks worked out with the Feds and the State Attorney Generals to help people who might be forced out of their homes by foreclosure was tapped by Brown and applied to the general fund. He flippantly commented, “the lawyers would have gotten most of it anyway”.

  4. Dena says:

    I voted against hight speed rail and against Jerry Brown. It didn’t do much good. Can the California voter be educated or will they continue to dig a deeper hole?

  5. Dena the voter keeps digging because that pony is in there somewhere.

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