The Boondoggle Express

The largest construction boondoggle in recorded human history continues to unfold in the Central Valley of California. The initial segment of Obama's pet project, a high-speed rail line from Merced to Bakersfield, just had its first announced cost overrun. With costs jumping from $7.1 billion to a staggering $13.9 billion, the project now has doubled in price even before a single shovelful of earth is turned. Now that is the seat-of-the-pants, lets just make up a number, government contracting that the Democrats and the unions so dearly love.

From SFGATE, the news website for the San Francisco Chronicle we read:

The estimated cost of California's high-speed rail project is rising by billions of dollars.

Environmental impact studies released Tuesday and obtained in advance by The Associated Press put the cost of building the initial segment at anywhere from $10 billion to $13.9 billion.

That's sharply higher than the $7.1 billion estimate from 2009 for the Merced-to-Bakersfield section. Rail board executives say the higher costs include more elevated tracks in the Central Valley and more specific data about property values.

Construction is scheduled to start next year.

Critics say the project is in danger of runaway costs at a time when tax dollars are scarce.

Supporters say the proposed 800-mile route between San Francisco and Anaheim will create thousands of jobs and be cheaper in the long run than adding freeways.

Ya gotta love the line; "Critics say the project is in danger of runaway costs at a time when tax dollars are scarce." Really? Just critics?  How about any thinking person with an IQ above room temperature could foresee that the cost of this segment of the rail line will exceed $30 billion dollars? As a reference, Boston's Big Dig will cost $22 billion by the time it is paid for in 2038.

China and other nations that hold trillions of our debt must surely believe such continued government spending is fiscal insanity of the first order. Millions of Americans also believe that is the case. What has happened to our country that we have allowed our political institutions to waste such enormous sums of money, turning us into a debtor nation? In less than 10 years we have become a fiscal banana republic, lacking even the basic instinct for survival.

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