Choo-Choo Boondoggle Runs Off Cliff

John Seiler:

Ding-dong, the stupid bullet train is dead.

It’s all over but the scrambling for a couple hundred million dollars of our tax money in various funds.

The California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group yesterday issued a report condemning the boondoggle.

Will Kempton is chairman of the group. He’s also the head of the Orange County Transportation Authority and former director of CalTrans. He wrote, “We cannot overemphasize the fact that moving ahead on the (high-speed rail) without credible sources of adequate funding, without a definitive business model, without a strategy to maximize the independent utility and value to the state, and without the appropriate management resources, represents an immense financial risk on the part of the state of California.”

Rail authority board Chairman Tom Umberg replied, “What is most unfortunate about this report is not its analytical deficiency, but that it would create a cloud over the program that threatens not only federal support but also the confidence of the private sector necessary for them to invest their dollars.”

Whatever one thinks of this controversy, Umberg is right that the “cloud” over the boondoggle will kill off any private-sector interest — something that anyway was about the size of a run-over penny on a railroad track.

As with redevelopment — which last week was buried by the state Supreme Court — the key factor now is the state’s lack of money. It’s sinking in for everyone, even liberal Democrats, that there isn’t going to be a new boom any time soon. Which means there won’t be a new dot-com boom or real-estate bubble to goose revenues for a couple of years.

A tax increase — maybe more than one — will be on the November ballot. But that’s months away. And there’s no certainty voters will approve an increase.

No matter what, the first six months of fiscal year 2012-13, which begins on July 1, will not include more taxes. New taxes only would take effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

So, the state is going to have to live within its means for once.

Which means no money for such incredibly wasteful programs as the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

Gov. Jerry Brown says he still believes the train would save the state money. But he realizes that, even if that’s true, it wouldn’t save money for decades.

He’s governor now, not then, and there’s no money.

Jan. 4, 2012



Write a comment
  1. Bob
    Bob 4 January, 2012, 14:51

    Let the criminal Brown and his criminal colleagues have this boondogle.

    And let these criminals have ALL there tax increases that will be on the ballot.

    And let the criminal DemoNcrats get their 2/3 majority in November and then watch them pass tax increases all they want.

    All of this NEEDS to happen so the economic collapse of this state will accelerate.

    We MUST have COMPLETE economic collapse. Only them will the Cawleefornia (as Ahnode sez) sheep wake up and remove these criminal parasites. Or at the very least break up the state.

    The only better solution would be if the state fell off into the ocean and took all the criminal parasites with it.

    Reply this comment
  2. Shawn Nelson
    Shawn Nelson 4 January, 2012, 20:07

    To paraphrase Mr. Umberg in my words: “What is most unfortunate with this report is that it appropriately applies facts and logic to reach a correct conclusion, however, the truth hurts our chances to blow a couple billion of federal and state bucks and it makes it very difficult to mislead the private sector that the idea is viable”. I agree with everything Mr. Umberg said short of the word “unfortunate”. Thank god Will Kempton and his group were willing to provide an objective review at such a critical time. Fear the person who fears the truth.

    Reply this comment
  3. queeg
    queeg 4 January, 2012, 20:28

    You elect attornies whose only job is to take…..take…..take….

    Globalists and politicans are not your friends eieither

    Reply this comment
  4. Eyeamok
    Eyeamok 5 January, 2012, 05:13

    Not good enough, Every last person involved with FRAUDULENT plan from the beginning, including putting a FRAUDULENT plan on the Ballot BELONG IN PRISON FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES, The STate Attorney General should have already began Civil Asset Forfeiture proceedings against every person involved to recoup TAXPAYER MONIES SPENT ON THIS FRAUD.

    Reply this comment
  5. Roy Reynolds
    Roy Reynolds 5 January, 2012, 11:03

    This scam is fraudulent and the CHSRA Board and management need to be indicted for violating the intent of Proposition 1A. They’ve obviously LIED, misdirected funds and are acting dishonestly, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for the AG to take any action.

    Reply this comment

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