Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Why California can't afford high-speed rail
Contra Costa Times ^ | Updated 12/5/11 | Daniel Borenstein - Staff columnist

Posted on 12/05/2011 4:07:47 PM PST by SmithL

Building the California high-speed rail system won't be a free ride. It will require spending money that could otherwise fund education and health care.

Perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of bond financing is that it's a loan. It must be paid back. When the state borrows, the repayment usually comes from the general fund. While the legislative analyst warns that balancing the state budget in coming years presents daunting fiscal challenges, high-speed rail advocates want us to take on more obligations.

Think about it: If you were struggling to cover your mortgage, pay bills and feed the family, would you borrow to buy a boat? Or, in this case, to jump-start construction of a highly speculative train system?

Fortunately, when voters in 2008 approved bonds for high-speed rail, they also provided the Legislature the authority to stop it. Any members who approve the borrowing must explain why they support funding a rail plan we now know will likely never be completed rather than our K-12 schools, colleges and universities, or desperately needed care for the poor and elderly. That's the trade-off.

California voters repeatedly are asked to approve borrowing for state projects without raising taxes. They're never asked what they want to give up. That means they don't confront the financial consequences of their decisions.

Special interests line up with campaigns to take advantage of this. In recent years, for example, they have convinced voters to approve borrowing for freeway upgrades, public transit, battered women's shelters, senior housing, school construction, flood control, park acquisition, coastal protection, stem-cell research facilities and high-speed rail.

In the past two decades, California bond borrowing has rapidly increased. The cost of annual payments ate up less than 2 percent of the state general fund until 1990. Today, it's 6 percent and forecast to rise...

(Excerpt) Read more at contracostatimes.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: goldenstate; highspeedrail; pork; yourtaxdollarsatwork

1 posted on 12/05/2011 4:07:52 PM PST by SmithL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SmithL

All abooard the bullet trains to bankruptcy. She is so right.


2 posted on 12/05/2011 4:10:03 PM PST by AmericanVictory (Should we be more like them or they more like we used to be?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

California is in the process of polarizing into rich and poor populations.

The former will fly everywhere, the later will stay put. Would be train riders have moved to Texas-Arizona-Colorado.


3 posted on 12/05/2011 4:12:50 PM PST by cicero2k
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

1. Cuz the money has already been spent giving freebies to illegals.
2. Cuz it won’t generate enough revenue to sustain itself.
3. Cuz you don’t spend money on luxuries when you can’t afford to put food on the table!


4 posted on 12/05/2011 4:14:45 PM PST by G Larry ("I dream of a day when a man is judged by the content of his Character.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

“require spending money that could otherwise fund education and health care.”

So it’s ok to spend money you don’t have as long a it’s “for da children”?


5 posted on 12/05/2011 4:16:10 PM PST by dynachrome ("Our forefathers didn't bury their guns. They buried those that tried to take them.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: G Larry

If they took just the money spent on illegals alone (schools, healthcare, foodstamps, welfare, an prisons) they would have enough money to build the railroad.


6 posted on 12/05/2011 4:18:23 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SmithL
Building the California high-speed rail system won't be a free ride. It will require spending money that could otherwise fund education and health care....... and continued support for illegals.
7 posted on 12/05/2011 4:18:33 PM PST by umgud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

California needs a high speed train to carry the unemployed from obscurity to oblivion.


8 posted on 12/05/2011 4:21:57 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AmericanVictory
Seems there are two high speed rail lines in the world that make money - and both of them are in Japan.

High speed rail's a total waste of money - unless it's judged in terms of how happy it makes liberals. They love the idea of 'public' transportation - even when no one uses the stuff.

If the goal is to make liberals happy - even when it causes bankruptcy - then California should go for it.

9 posted on 12/05/2011 4:34:41 PM PST by GOPJ (Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred - Proverbs 15)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: GOPJ
"Seems there are two high speed rail lines in the world that make money - and both of them are in Japan."

Isn't that the country where they have to hire workers specifically to cram as many passengers into the cars as possible?

Isn't that the country where women are now just starting to complain about all the creepy dudes that are copping feels while the women are pressed up against them in the cars?

If the only way to keep a train profitable is to cram them beyond safe/sane capacity then this is no form of transportation for the USA.

10 posted on 12/05/2011 4:45:39 PM PST by who_would_fardels_bear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

Never underestimate the vanity of politicians or the stupidity of the voters.

If they just build the rail to nowhere, look at it this way: it will be still be a tourist attraction and a monument to political extravagance.


11 posted on 12/05/2011 4:47:34 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

There’s a reason that I left California decades ago, and there is a reason that I NEVER REGRETTED IT. And articles like this one only serve to remind me...


12 posted on 12/05/2011 4:52:44 PM PST by BobL ("Heartless" and "Inhumane" FReepers for Cain - we've HAD ENOUGH)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

bookmark


13 posted on 12/05/2011 5:13:54 PM PST by GOP Poet (Time for Bambi and his commie crew to go.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: count-your-change

Score! Plus notice how California high speed rail magically includes Sacramento ground zero for lard arse bureaucrats


14 posted on 12/05/2011 5:18:56 PM PST by dennisw (I heard the old man laughing What good is a used up world and how could it be worth having-Sting)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

America is a CAR society....what idiot wants to take a cab from a rail station?????


15 posted on 12/05/2011 5:37:06 PM PST by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

kalifornia can’t afford a thumb tack, they’re stinking broke.


16 posted on 12/05/2011 6:01:41 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

Interest rates on California bonds shold be increased to at least 10 percent. California is insolvent. The only cure for irresponsible spending is punishing interest rates and perhaps a suspension of borrowing. Just say no to California junk bonds.


17 posted on 12/05/2011 6:31:41 PM PST by businessprofessor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lurker; cripplecreek

Somewhere, Willie Green is weeping.


18 posted on 12/05/2011 6:35:42 PM PST by Grizzled Bear (No More RINOS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL

You seem to forget that Moonbeam is in charge now. They can afford two or three bullet trains. Just tax the rich some more.


19 posted on 12/05/2011 6:39:15 PM PST by RetiredTexasVet (There's a pill for just about everything ... except stupid!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Grizzled Bear

Miss Willie Green. Somewhere along the line he quit FR. Don’t know why.


20 posted on 12/05/2011 6:41:20 PM PST by AGreatPer (Obama has NEVER given a speech where he did not lie!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Grizzled Bear

Silly Willy letters to the editor still show up in various Michigan newspapers. These days he manages to include some comment about fascist Free republic. LOL


21 posted on 12/05/2011 6:43:10 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: AGreatPer

Willie decided to pick a fight with JimRob.


22 posted on 12/05/2011 6:44:27 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: AGreatPer

He “quit” shortly after farting off to Jim Robinson. After that, he made an abrupt exit.


23 posted on 12/05/2011 6:44:59 PM PST by Grizzled Bear (No More RINOS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: AGreatPer
Somewhere along the line he quit FR. Don’t know why.

He didn't quit.

24 posted on 12/05/2011 6:45:31 PM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

“They don’t agree with my socialist dreams. That’s why they are facist!”

Something like that?


25 posted on 12/05/2011 6:47:34 PM PST by Grizzled Bear (No More RINOS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: RetiredTexasVet

California is just being California. More taxes and more bonds until those of us who could pay are all gone.


26 posted on 12/05/2011 6:54:08 PM PST by morphing libertarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Grizzled Bear

A few weeks back I saw a comment from him in Michigan Capitol Confidential complaining about FR extremists like me (I use the same user name there) who are so intent on polluting the planet that we refuse to see the greater good of less cars and more trains.


27 posted on 12/05/2011 6:54:08 PM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: cicero2k
Would be train riders have moved to Texas-Arizona-Colorado.

We can only hope several million more will pour into your state...Soon.

A parking lot, greedymart, a train running through the backyard and 99 cent store on every corner...

You'll love it.

28 posted on 12/05/2011 6:58:56 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Willie Green, R.I.P.

I sometimes wonder where Chet99 is now.

I hope the pit bulls didn’t get him.


29 posted on 12/05/2011 7:22:29 PM PST by Blado (2008: Year Zero of the Zombie Apocalypse.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: SmithL
 

 

30 posted on 12/05/2011 7:51:20 PM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmithL
Look there are places in the U.S. where high speed rail would work:

1)The Boston-NY-DC Corridor

2)Dallas-Houston-San Antonio

3) Chicago-Mid West

4) Intra state Florida

The problem is the terrain has to be flat. That's why Vegas/LA is a non starter. The climb/descent into the LA basin is a killer.

Same thing for LA-North. Got to get out of the LA basin. But LA-San Diego would work and makes sense.

31 posted on 12/05/2011 10:14:36 PM PST by LVGuy600 (I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: who_would_fardels_bear
Isn't that the country where women are now just starting to complain about all the creepy dudes that are copping feels while the women are pressed up against them in the cars?

That is totally untrue........................the Women have been complaining about it for a very long time, it just that nobody listens to them, LOL.

In all seriousness, the idea behind high speed rail isn't all bad, its just bad for over there, because its not viable there. In some places, this could work, this, is not one of those places, and as a result its pure idiocy.

Its like the idea of using a fork, its a good and efficient way to eat, but its not effective with soup, california, is the kind of state, that would simply spend more money on forks then concede that kind of point.

32 posted on 12/05/2011 11:22:37 PM PST by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: LVGuy600
To be honest, I'm not so sure about one through four. It would really depend on how much demand there is, to begin with, and assume that its mutually beneficially for both sides......it might not be.

Boston and NYC, could wind up being a massive waste, or hurting one at the expense of the other, and while I believe that the locations you named are probably the best case scenarios, I'm not convinced its worth that kind of gamble to find out, especially since there hasn't been that kind of high demand airline and bus wise with NYC and Boston.

33 posted on 12/05/2011 11:31:47 PM PST by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson