California digs fiscal grave on high speed rail boondoggle
Yesterday the Democrats in the California State Senate approved on a straight party line vote the final funding authorization for building a high-speed rail through the Central Valley. Based on cost overruns for other government boondoggles like Boston's Big Dig, today's vote could eventually cost the taxpayers of California and the rest of this nation a staggering $400 billion dollars. ($400,000,000,000.00) Which is not much less than the amount of indebtedness ($497,900,000,000.00) California owes in unfunded liabilities to the pension and health benefits plans of its current and retired workers.
The Democrats and their union puppet masters have shown the country that denial, stupidity and a willful disregard for basic economics are fully deployed in adding to California's already astronomical debt service. This is the same state where the bathrooms in the state parks lack toilet paper due to state funding cuts.
Perhaps California could begin to print its own currency much like the Federal government, to pay for all this debt. Moonbeam Brown and his graft-happy Democrats could issue CAL BUCKS, backed by high-speed rail bonds.
[Insert sound track of Dr. Evil's maniacal laughter]
So what will happen next? There will be a number of lawsuits filed against the project based on a lack of comprehensive environmental impact studies along the 130-mile route. We can savor quite a delicious payback of sorts for the Democrats, who gleefully destroyed the lumber and mining industries of California through politically motivated environmental over regulation. More good news, Federal dollars for high-speed rail have completely dried up.
From the National Conference of State Legislatures we read:
Yet the future of U.S. high-speed rail is uncertain, especially given the crop of new players brought in by the historic 2010 elections. In the months following the elections, three states-Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin-voluntarily forfeited some or all federal high-speed rail funds they had previously been awarded. In April 2011, Congress eliminated all high-speed rail funding in FY 2011 appropriations, rescinded $400 million of FY 2010 unobligated high-speed rail funds and reduced Amtrak capital funding by $130 million. In Oct. 2011, Congress provided no funding for high-speed or intercity passenger rail grants in FY 2012 appropriations, zeroing out the program for the second consecutive fiscal year.
Like the old joke about a busload of lawyers on the ocean floor, it's a fine start.
Unless we elect a Republican President along with a Republican House and Senate this November, we cannot derail this high-speed boondoggle at the federal level. We must contribute our time, money and passion to have a chance for a convincing victory. We still can permanently stop this $400 billion train robbery in its tracks.