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It's time to kill California's bullet train boondoggle
Sacramento Bee ^ | 1/8/12 | Dan Walters

Posted on 01/08/2012 8:48:35 AM PST by SmithL

JIt's one thing for politicians, ordinary citizens, lawyers or even media pundits to say that California's bullet train project is fatally flawed and should be scrapped before it becomes a hopeless money pit.

Bullet train zealots dismiss those naysayers as uninformed or biased, and even reject milder criticism from the Legislature's budget analyst.

But when the California High-Speed Rail Authority's own "peer review" committee of transportation experts says the project is half-baked and should be put on hold, Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature should pay heed. And that's exactly what happened last week.

The peer reviewers, headed by former Caltrans director Will Kempton, told the Legislature that while recently revised plans are an improvement, they still don't adequately describe how the north-south system could reasonably be built and operated.

It concluded, "We cannot overemphasize the fact that moving ahead on the HSR project without credible sources of adequate funding, without a definitive business model, without a strategy to maximize the independent utility and value to the state, and without the appropriate management resources, represents an immense financial risk on the part of the State of California."

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


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

1 posted on 01/08/2012 8:48:41 AM PST by SmithL
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To: SmithL

“...represents an immense financial risk on the part of the State of California.”

Yes, California prefers proven wastes of money to those that only have a possibility of calamity.


2 posted on 01/08/2012 8:51:45 AM PST by poindexter
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To: SmithL

You want Jerry Brown to ignore a half-baked idea? The guy is the queen of the EZ Bake Oven.


3 posted on 01/08/2012 8:52:54 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SmithL

He really needs to update that picture of him. It’s REVOLTING.


4 posted on 01/08/2012 8:53:42 AM PST by BobL ("Heartless" and "Inhumane" FReepers for Cain - we've HAD ENOUGH)
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To: SmithL

This is a pure wealth transfer from taxpayers to crony friends of the Federal and California governments. Period. No economic sense, but theft from taxpayers.


5 posted on 01/08/2012 8:53:56 AM PST by whitedog57
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To: SmithL

6 posted on 01/08/2012 9:01:31 AM PST by ThomasThomas (The right has common sense and the OWS folks have common scents.)
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To: blueunicorn6
You want Jerry Brown to ignore a half-baked idea? The guy is the queen of the EZ Bake Oven.
If Free Republic had a "Like" button, I would have clicked it for your post.
7 posted on 01/08/2012 9:02:36 AM PST by SmithL (If you reward certain behavior, don't be surprised if you see more of that behavior)
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To: SmithL

I’m ready to write off the entire State as a lost cause.


8 posted on 01/08/2012 9:03:30 AM PST by Leep
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To: SmithL
WHAT??? The Sackatomatoes Bee reported this???

Awright, what happened? Did I fall asleep and wake up on April Fool's Day?

Did The Bee get bought out by a bunch of rabid, right-wing, cave-dwelling Tea Pary Luddites?

Is Dan Walters exercising his fledgling parodist wings?

Am I just drunk?

9 posted on 01/08/2012 9:03:45 AM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: SmithL
Hallelujah! So, obviously there's no need for a California High-Speed Rail Commission, is there? So, obviously the Commission itself should be defunded.

HA! Riiiiiiiight.

10 posted on 01/08/2012 9:07:32 AM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: SmithL

It’s time to admit that in a liberal-infested state like California, you can’t build ANYTHING big.


11 posted on 01/08/2012 9:18:49 AM PST by BlazingArizona
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To: SmithL
"It's time to kill California's bullet train boondoggle"

Good luck.

12 posted on 01/08/2012 9:22:18 AM PST by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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To: Texas Eagle
Respected journalist Dan Walters IIRC is a hold-over from the defunct Sacramento Union, and the (ugh) Bee took him as sort of a concession after they successfully undermined the Union.

The Bee gets more radical leftwing every year (exceeding the NYT in some cases), so Mister Walters is, indeed, an artifact of a more journalistic (and less radical activist) time.

.

13 posted on 01/08/2012 9:27:10 AM PST by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: SmithL

Dan Walters is himself lefty. So is the former director of CalTrans. EVEN THEY say this is garbage.


14 posted on 01/08/2012 9:27:50 AM PST by pogo101
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To: Texas Eagle
Like all bureaucracies, the CHSRA is primarilly interested in its own perpetuation. They have only incidental interest in actually building anything.
15 posted on 01/08/2012 9:30:09 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: SmithL

Unions are not amused must find another way to stick it to the state.


16 posted on 01/08/2012 9:32:18 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: SmithL

My fear is that, while the older parts of it are falling apart in disuse, we will continue building new stretches of this train to nowhere.


17 posted on 01/08/2012 9:32:36 AM PST by redheadtoo
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To: Seaplaner; pogo101
I can't help but wonder if even people in Sacramento are figuring out that the money is drying up and this is just the beginning of one bureacratic monstrosity throwing another bureaucratic monstrosity under the train in an effort to perpetuate its own flow of money.

I HOPE that's what's going on.

18 posted on 01/08/2012 9:37:29 AM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: Texas Eagle

Could be.

One must remember that Dan Walters is no conservative. During even the soaking-wet Republican governors’ runs, he frequently criticized even the most modest of proposed cuts, reforms, etc., and never said Boo about public sector pensions IIRC until a few years ago, when it was obvious to the blindest fool that we had a problem there.

But this HSR is so stupid that even liberals can’t miss it.


19 posted on 01/08/2012 9:39:32 AM PST by pogo101
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To: SmithL

Thank-you.


20 posted on 01/08/2012 9:41:30 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: redheadtoo

You raise an excellent point.

I am a long-distance train commuter. I ride a train in to downtown LA for 70 minutes each way, every weekday. Although a few stretches of the track allow us to go 70mph, most of the track is graded (or whatever the term is) so as to allow only a rambling 25-30mph.

I ask about this, and I am told there is no money to upgrade the tracks.

Why is an entirely superfluous, dangerous $200++ HSR project given higher priority in this whackadoo state than upgrading existing roads and (outdated) rails?


21 posted on 01/08/2012 9:42:57 AM PST by pogo101
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To: SmithL

If I don’t live in California, why should I care?


22 posted on 01/08/2012 9:57:42 AM PST by Rich21IE
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To: leapfrog0202


PLEASE DONATE TODAY

23 posted on 01/08/2012 10:18:12 AM PST by leapfrog0202 ("the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery" Sarah Palin)
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To: Rich21IE
If I don’t live in California, why should I care?
Excellent Question. This entire high-speed rail project was dreamed up in Washington DC, and presented to the states. California has already been promised $3.9 billion for their "rail to nowhere", with a lot more forthcoming if the project ever does get underway. If High Speed Rail is built in California, you will help pay for it, regardless of whether it is successful or not.

More at Keyword: HighSpeedRail.

24 posted on 01/08/2012 10:26:33 AM PST by SmithL (If you reward certain behavior, don't be surprised if you see more of that behavior)
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To: Rich21IE
If I don’t live in California, why should I care?

Fed taxes pay for about 50% of this boondoggle.

California thanks you for your contribution.

25 posted on 01/08/2012 3:40:24 PM PST by hattend (If I wanted you dead, you'd be dead. - Cameron Connor)
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To: Texas Eagle
You would be surprised at just how many otherwise intelligent (and allegedly highly educated) Californians have no idea just where money actually comes from.

.

26 posted on 01/08/2012 6:17:50 PM PST by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: Seaplaner
You would be surprised at just how many otherwise intelligent (and allegedly highly educated) Californians have no idea just where money actually comes from.

Actually, I wouldn't. Despite what my nick might suggest, I actually live in this bowl of fruits, flakes and nuts called California.

27 posted on 01/08/2012 6:22:06 PM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: hattend

sad; and there’s probably no stopping this boondogle.

Well...........when they’ve finally spent so much they can’t borrow any more, they’ll have no choice except to stop spending.


28 posted on 01/09/2012 5:06:13 AM PST by Rich21IE
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To: SmithL

No one wants to travel from Southern California to Northern California. Vegas, San Diego, Hell! Maybe even Phoenix, but Northern California defeats the point of living in California. The weather.


29 posted on 01/09/2012 12:20:49 PM PST by Smogger
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To: pogo101
Why is an entirely superfluous, dangerous $200++ HSR project given higher priority in this whackadoo state than upgrading existing roads and (outdated) rails?

I live in Orange County. I don't think the state has spent any money in OC for roads in the past twenty years.
30 posted on 01/11/2012 7:33:41 PM PST by redheadtoo
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