Skip to comments.Why California can't afford high-speed rail
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 ...
All abooard the bullet trains to bankruptcy. She is so right.
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.
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!
“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”?
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.
California needs a high speed train to carry the unemployed from obscurity to oblivion.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Score! Plus notice how California high speed rail magically includes Sacramento ground zero for lard arse bureaucrats
America is a CAR society....what idiot wants to take a cab from a rail station?????
kalifornia can’t afford a thumb tack, they’re stinking broke.
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.
Somewhere, Willie Green is weeping.
You seem to forget that Moonbeam is in charge now. They can afford two or three bullet trains. Just tax the rich some more.
Miss Willie Green. Somewhere along the line he quit FR. Don’t know why.
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
Willie decided to pick a fight with JimRob.
He “quit” shortly after farting off to Jim Robinson. After that, he made an abrupt exit.
He didn't quit.
“They don’t agree with my socialist dreams. That’s why they are facist!”
Something like that?
California is just being California. More taxes and more bonds until those of us who could pay are all gone.
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.
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.
Willie Green, R.I.P.
I sometimes wonder where Chet99 is now.
I hope the pit bulls didn’t get him.
1)The Boston-NY-DC Corridor
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.
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.
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.