Now for Something Really Stupid

John Seiler:

Except for those getting the cash, just about every analyst of the California High-Speed Rail Authority says it’s a boondoggle. Dan Walters summed it up:

It’s rare for any human endeavor to achieve perfection, but California’s High-Speed Rail Authority has done it – albeit in reverse.

Every single independent review of its project to link the northern and southern halves of the state with a bullet train has concluded that it’s not working. No exceptions. Not even one.

The only ones saying that the bullet train will work as promised are the rail authority itself, its highly paid consultants and media cheerleaders, and those on the political left who hate cars and planes and love trains.

Is that enough to stop the funding? Of course not. This is California, the land of delusions.

Reported Capitol Weekly:

By fits and starts, amid fights over routes and funding, construction on California’s bullet train remains on track to begin next year….

The project has so far received $3.5 billion in federal aid, taken from other states that had cancelled their own high-speed train projects. The federal government has promised a total of $19 billion in aid, 40 percent of every available high-speed rail dollar in the country.

Keep that in mind when you hear talk in the current budget battles in Washington about increasing taxes or the government will default. If they canceled the stupid high-speed choo-choo, they could save that $19 bil, plus interest.

And that’s just one example. The whole, $4 trillion federal budget is riddled with just such waste for every state and congressional district — and for every territory and imperial outpost. Government exists to waste.

But the political cultures in both the federal and state capitols now are so corrupt that they are impervious to reform. The only reason the state government of California isn’t heading to bankruptcy is because it can’t print its own money, so budget cuts have been made.

The Feds, by contrast, have been printing money like crazy, driving down the value of the dollar in a de facto default.

July 28, 2011



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  1. StevefromSacto
    StevefromSacto 29 July, 2011, 18:18

    speaking of stupid:

    Tea Party conservatives just handed the reins on spending to House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. With the spectacular crash of the GOP House bill to raise the debt ceiling, the Senate is now in charge. Whatever ugly compromise it comes up with will need perhaps more than 100 Democratic votes in the House, because Republicans have shown that they can’t even pass their own bill.

    President Obama just told the nation, “There are plenty of ways out of this mess,” and directed Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate to produce a bipartisan bill.

    House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is still trying to muster support for the bill he pulled from the floor last night. Obama just appeared at the White House saying that bill is dead, having shown that there are not even enough Republicans to support it.

    Die-hard House conservatives — from major interest groups such as the Club for Growth to non-entity House members who prayed in chapel before tanking their party — have badly miscalculated; they have crippled their own leader politically and marginalized him right out of the debt talks as they reach their end game four days before a credit downgrade.

    Pelosi made clear yesterday how much she despises the House GOP agenda and now holds the cards to extract major concessions.

    Leaders are looking at a vote Tuesday, the deadline for raising the debt ceiling. A credit downgrade could send a shock wave of higher interest rates through the economy. Obama correctly compared it to an across-the-board tax increase at precisely the wrong time. Not to mention that higher federal interest costs could add as much to the debt as Republicans are trying to cut.

    House GOP whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield failed to muster the votes when it counted — even with his gangster movie clip that did little but draw attention to Tea Party recklessness. Majority leader Eric Cantor of Virginia played a key role in walking out of talks and pulling Boehner with him when they could have secured entitlement and tax reform from a willing Democratic president. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky tried to avert disaster, urging the House to back Boehner’s bill and proposing his own convoluted map out of the mess. Grover Norquist insisted that ethanol subsidies are more important than tax and entitlement reform. The fallout will be long and hard.

    Update: after the fact, House conservatives were assuaged by the sop of a useless and profoundly flawed balanced budget amendment as part of a final bill. Such an amendment, which will never pass the Senate much less the states, would put the Constitutional spending powers of Congress in the hands of judges and put the budget at the mercy of volatile projections of GDP growth. The Boehner capitulation barely passed the House by just two votes, with 22 Republicans voting no.

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