Bullet-train blog urges $29B in new CA taxes to save project

Bullet-train blog urges $29B in new CA taxes to save project

train_wreck_num_2-203x300These are melancholy and bitter times for the California High Speed Rail Blog. Overseer Robert Cruickshank has reacted to Judge Michael Kenny’s rulings blocking the project by decrying the taxpayer protections in the 2008 ballot measure authorizing $9.95 billion in bond funds for a statewide bullet-train system:

“Prop 1A’s flaws include the ban on operating subsidies and the requirement that all funding be identified before construction on a segment begins, as well as the smaller size of the overall bond authorization.”

Cruickshank never acknowledges that it is only because of these taxpayer protections that the project narrowly passed. Meanwhile, in the comment sections, posters angrily trash Judge Kenny’s ruling, ignoring the fact that at the November “remedies” hearing, the state Attorney General’s Office didn’t dispute his conclusion that the project didn’t have close to adequate financing or environmental reviews to begin construction.

But it seems to be sinking in with Cruickshank that the federal spigot has been turned off and that Congress won’t be coming to the rescue with the massive cash infusion the project needs. So how does he want to revive his beloved bullet train? With $29 billion in new taxes and a grab of $13 billion in cap-and-trade fees as AB 32 gears up. Among the money grabs he envisions:

“• An increase in the gas tax of 6 cents per gallon for 20 years

“• Road tolls of $4 per vehicle on six highways that parallel high-speed rail as it enters the Bay Area and Southern California

“• An $8.50 increase in the annual vehicle license fee (VLF) for 20 years”

Cruickshank completely ignores the fact that polls show Californians have turned on the bullet train. Oh, yeah, they’re going to love paying $29 billion in new taxes for a poorly managed, deceit-ridden project that won’t even go from Los Angeles to San Francisco — just from San Jose to northern L.A. County.

What is about rail — from light rail to bullet trains — that brings out such delusional and cultlike behavior? I think at least part of it is the greens’ hate of automobiles (or other folks’ automobiles). But I don’t think that’s all of it.



Write a comment
  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 7 December, 2013, 16:09

    The days of wine and roses are over in America. Kaput. They ended when we turned into a kleptocracy. When parasites were rewarded with carrots and the producers got handed the bill. And these dinosaur brained statists want to reach deeper in your pockets. I told you they would stop at nothing. 3 to 1 they put the bullet train back on the tracks. If they can’t find the money – they’ll just take it from you. Like bandits.

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 7 December, 2013, 17:48

    Come on. It’s Christmas Jerry and Sutter deserve a shiny new train!

    Reply this comment
  3. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 7 December, 2013, 21:59

    Guy is a complete wingnut if he thinks he can get $1 billion in taxes for that slow speed fail.

    I said it in November, the bullet train is history, stick a fork in it, because it is done!

    Reply this comment
  4. SaveAG
    SaveAG 8 December, 2013, 12:11

    Robert is completely ignoring the fact that cap and trade can NOT be used for HSR. Ever.


    Reply this comment
  5. Carl-Ake Utterstrom
    Carl-Ake Utterstrom 8 December, 2013, 12:20

    The maximum optimal speed for wheel on rail high speed train will be 320 km/h. But with increasing tearing and wearing of wheel and rail the speed have to be reduced to about 250 km/h 155.5 mph.

    Instead of this slow train system implement the German Transrapid Maglev train with a top speed of 500 km/h 311 mph. This is the top speed for today which will be reached after 22 kilometre.

    The wheel on rail do reach 300 km/h after 20 to 30 kilometre while Maglev accelerate to that speed in only 4.2 kilometre distance.

    The Maglevs extreme prestanda is weatherunindependent. It doesn´t matter when its snowing, heavy rain, powerful wind. During the typhon Matsa á 55 m/s the Maglev was the only train system in operation as well as during the longlasting worst snow weather in Shanghai for 50 years. The Maglev was the only train system in operation.

    To build the Maglev train system it will cost 25 to 32 million Euro pro kilometre. Far less than the proposed HSR-system for California.

    The total costs maintenance-, energy- and personal costs will be about 60 percent of the French HSR type TGV.

    The guideway will be buildup by prefabricated concrete segments 25 metre long and a weight of 165 metric ton. Ordinary uplifted HSR do have a weight of 900 metric tons with a length of 30 metre.

    Much worse to handle. Plus needed material for slab, sleepers, rail, signalling and catenary.

    The Maglev guideline is in princible complete do only need to connect cables.

    The driverless, contactfree, “floating” Maglev have neither catenary nor conventional brakes. The braking function will be overtaken by the continuesly mounted driving motors (synchronous) underneath the guideway.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 9 December, 2013, 11:58

      Carl, the germans are so far ahead of us in the public/urban transportion arena that it’s truly embarrassing. We’re too busy spending money on bombs and bailouts for crony capitalists to have anything left over to improve our public transportation system. We put a man on the moon but it takes 3 hours for the average citizen to get from one end of town to the other on most urban transporation systems in an average American metropolis. In Munich, Frankfurt or Berlin one can do it in 30 minutes or less. The money wasted by this country is mindboggling.

      Reply this comment
  6. Ian Random
    Ian Random 8 December, 2013, 15:34

    With the demise of the Soviets, we need another bad example of government control and California could be that. Just couple that with Obamagube and there will be 20 years of conservative rule, just like Jimmy the government licensed Peanut grower did.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 8 December, 2013, 15:44

    Ian your hopeful….poor lad……for years CWD doomers prognosticate the downfall of the leisure class….nothing happens like that dumb Mayan calendar thingeee.

    Reply this comment
  8. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 8 December, 2013, 15:48

    Many people vowed that Jerry Brown would never get his tax increase approved by the voters. But the Californians doubled over and grabbed their ankles for him, despite years of financial mismanagement, fraud and corruption in California government.

    Never ever underestimate the stupidity of the California voter. They’ll fool you everytime.

    Reply this comment
  9. ricky65
    ricky65 9 December, 2013, 10:24

    The idiot Cruikshank apparently wants to slip us the shank-again.
    We already pay the highest gas taxes in the country (nearly 70cents per gallon) on top of nearly the highest priced gasoline in the country thanks to mindless pseudo-green regulations. Just wait until the effects of AB32 and carbon trading hit the gasoline producers. Gas price are projected to go up yet another DOLLAR per gallon.
    We also have nearly the highest vehicle registration taxes and the worst roads in the country largely due to the siphoning off of road taxes for bike lanes and phony green mandates on road projects that eat up 30% of all highway contracts. And road taxes are diverted to build ever more urban transit systems that require endless susidies.
    The arrogance of the wealthy coastal green elites who run the state and the D-Rat party could care less about the middle class and working folks trying to survive here.
    But you know what? The Demo-droid army of brian dead voters in California will probably go along even though they are cutting their own throats.
    After all, the D-Rat party is the party of the ” little guy”, right?

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Democrats seek to link CA House candidates to Donald Trump

Two months ago, Republican operatives feared that presidential nominee Donald Trump would destroy their chances to retain control of Congress.

Mandatory vaccination bill clears Legislature

The mandatory vaccine bill, SB277, passed the state Assembly on a 46-30 vote during a Thursday hearing. Proponents of the

Progressives look to shame Gov. Brown over high rate of child poverty

When Jerry Brown returned to the governor’s office in 2011, Democrats largely accepted his argument that with revenue down and