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California’s crazy train: On the fast track for fiscal ruin (high speed rail etc.)
New York Post ^ | 12:44 AM, July 11, 2012 | Ben Boychuk

Posted on 07/14/2012 2:47:45 AM PDT by Olog-hai

California is broke and broken. Its freeways and roads are crumbling. Many cities—like Stockton, which declared bankruptcy two weeks ago—are straining under hundreds of millions in bond debt and unfunded pensions for retired public workers.

In the face of a slow-motion fiscal train wreck, why would state lawmakers commit to spending $5.8 billion in state and federal funds on the first phase of a high-speed rail line that practically nobody wants in part of the state where practically nobody lives?

The state Senate on Friday narrowly approved legislation to start work on a 130-mile stretch of rail between Madera and Bakersfield, where a tiny fraction of Californians live and work—mostly on farms. …

Yet the best explanation may be the Obama administration’s desperation for a win. The US Department of Transportation thrust $3.5 billion in stimulus money into the state’s grubby hands (billions that Florida and Ohio wisely turned down) and said “build it.”

But the feds then told California to break ground on the project this year—or lose the cash. …

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


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: boondoggle; cahsr; highspeedrail

1 posted on 07/14/2012 2:48:01 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

It’s not even worth discussing this piece of stupidity any more. There isn’t even the pretense that this isn’t a lame political boondoggle with zero economic or any other function. If, as I suspect, the entire project is abandoned after this first phase is completed, it will still cost the state tens of millions annually just to maintain and police and self-insure the thing.


2 posted on 07/14/2012 2:57:30 AM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (Instead of running for another term, 0bama should be begging for forgiveness.)
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To: Olog-hai

High speed rail is another code word in thier criminal program for BAILOUT!


3 posted on 07/14/2012 3:08:17 AM PDT by ronnie raygun (B B)
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To: Olog-hai

Everybody knows this project will never be finished. This is just another attempt by Obama to funnel billions to State employee unions and union contractors while Obama is still in office. The icing on the cake is that I’m sure many political insiders will make millions on the property they’ve bought up along the proposed train route which will now be purchased by the state at a handsome mark-up.


4 posted on 07/14/2012 3:20:45 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: ronnie raygun
"High speed rail is another code word in thier criminal program for BAILOUT!"

All it does is line the pockets of RATS.
Our Governor here in Florida opted OUT of the funds. He saw the cost and the amount the feds would contribute. Once the money is accepted the feds won't let you out. Rick was smart to not accept the $$.

5 posted on 07/14/2012 3:20:59 AM PDT by DeaconRed (My vote in Nov will be dictated by my extreme hatred for ZERO and what he is doing to our country.)
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To: Olog-hai

Democrats, keep spending until you can’t.


6 posted on 07/14/2012 3:32:50 AM PDT by fortheDeclaration (Pr 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation:but sin is a reproach to any people)
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To: ronnie raygun

High speed rail is another code word in their criminal program for BAILOUT!

Amen! CRIMINAL STUPIDITY. The state assembly can only keep this up so long before the people get wise. So don’t let me down CA’s. Reject the “mother load”, and show some common sense.


7 posted on 07/14/2012 3:41:19 AM PDT by wita
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To: Olog-hai
It's not that it's stupid.

It's outright criminal theft of tax payer funds!

Just like Soiledlyndra. A political money laundering funnel!

8 posted on 07/14/2012 3:48:27 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: Olog-hai
Building a huge expensive monstrosity is a classic sign of the end of life stage of an organization. From Organizational lifecycle and decline:

Decline - An organization enters the decline phase when it experiences continuous reduction in resources and revenue over a substantial period of time. Ironically, the decline can be recognized with certainty only when it is too late to recover from it, early signs are often mistaken to be temporary.


9 posted on 07/14/2012 3:54:00 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: Olog-hai

Idiocy at it’s utmost.


10 posted on 07/14/2012 3:59:36 AM PDT by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Olog-hai

Maybe Hank Johnson was thinking of California instead of Guam.

And instead of tipping over from too much development, it’s going to tip over because of crushing debt.


11 posted on 07/14/2012 4:58:19 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: circlecity
"...many political insiders will make millions on the property they’ve bought up along the proposed train route which will now be purchased by the state at a handsome mark-up."

Yep.


12 posted on 07/14/2012 5:41:26 AM PDT by oprahstheantichrist (The MSM is a demonic stronghold, PLEASE pray accordingly - 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
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To: Olog-hai

There is a train that runs I think in New Mexico that folks go out to and Moon it as it goes by.
Quite appropriate for the good folks of California to do likewise to this boondogle.


13 posted on 07/14/2012 6:05:51 AM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) Hey Mitt, F-you too pal)
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To: Olog-hai

I think Arizona should have a high-speed mag-lift momnorail line between Page, AZ (look it up) and Flagstaff, AZ.

Oh, that’s right, they hate AZ, never mind.


14 posted on 07/14/2012 6:48:24 AM PDT by CPOSharky (zero slogan: Expect less, pay more. (apologies to Target))
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To: Olog-hai

I think Arizona should have a high-speed mag-lift monorail line between Page, AZ (look it up) and Flagstaff, AZ.

Oh, that’s right, they hate AZ, never mind.


15 posted on 07/14/2012 6:48:59 AM PDT by CPOSharky (zero slogan: Expect less, pay more. (apologies to Target))
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To: Olog-hai

Obama administration’s desperation for a win.

It’s as clear as it gets.


16 posted on 07/14/2012 6:51:10 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Olog-hai

The area where this ‘high speed train’ construction is about to start is exactly where the water was taken from farmers 2 years ago.

Now, land that was worth as much as $50,000 +++ per acre because of it’s ability to grow FOOD is now worth nearly nothing.

The state will push emminent domain on purchasing such lands & will do it at a pittance. Farmer’s will be bankrupt. Unemployment in that region is already above 40%.

Warren Buffett bought controlling interest in the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad a couple of years back.

ALL the renderings of the high speed trains are in the colors of the BNSF. Coincidence?

I don’t think so.

I say connect the dots.

Robert Kennedy Jr was the head of the Greenie group that sued to shut off the water to the farmers & let it go into the waters where the Delta Smelt live. NOT a native fish & has NO commercial value.

Federal judge shuts off the water.

Land is dry- orchards are torn down, etc.

Seems the farmers actually cleared the land for the high speed rail.

Meanwhile, California is broke and broken.

Anyone who keeps staying there in the face of what is surely coming is deserving of their own personal results.


17 posted on 07/14/2012 6:53:58 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: Olog-hai

Obama administration’s desperation for a win.

It’s as clear as it gets.


18 posted on 07/14/2012 6:54:57 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Olog-hai
California’s crazy train: On the fast track for fiscal ruin (high speed rail etc.) It's the democrat "Let's Kill California Once and For All Act of 2012."

It's like if the boat has a hole in it, and everyone votes to throw the buckets over the side.

It's like the plane is on fire and going down, and all the passengers vote to throw the parachutes out to lighten the plane.

It's like the trek acrss the desert if getting dire, so the wagon train pours all of its water in a ditch.

Californian liberals aren't just suicidal - they're perversely suicidal. They are the sickest, most twisted excuses for human beings ever to walk the earth. They make cowards look like heroes in comparison to them. They make Hitler look like Lincoln in comparison to them. They make dog crap thrown over a cliff on fire splatting on the head of a dead fish on a poisonous beach, look like creme de caramel with mocha drizzles over handmade french vanilla ice cream.

I hope that was clear.

19 posted on 07/14/2012 6:36:10 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Olog-hai

“In the face of a slow-motion fiscal train wreck, why would state lawmakers commit to spending $5.8 billion in state and federal funds on the first phase of a high-speed rail line that practically nobody wants in part of the state where practically nobody lives?”

Because that’s the same methodology that got the US Interstate Highway System built. You build in the rural areas first because its cheaper and then you connect the cities. Because when the US Route System was built it was typical for cities to sport nice parkways that led to two-lane and even gravel roads at the county line.

If HSR is built in the urban areas first then it’ll just be a patchwork of local systems that don’t connect to anything and the system won’t address the problems of ever-more crowded airports and freeways.

I know a lot of people hate HSR *even when it is privately funded* as it was in Texas when it was first proposed, but in California the thing is that no new freeways are going to built and the politicians want to CLOSE at least two airports in Southern California, not build new ones. With that state’s population projected to hit fifty million in fifteen years there’s got to be a way to move them all around. Rail wins by default.

I agree that it is not the best choice, but the ‘best’ choice won’t happen because of the politics in this country and, in particular, California.

Southwest Airlines is spending millions to lobby against this project just like they did with the private Texas project because they see it as competition. Much of the anti-rail screeds I see anymore no doubt source from SWA given that they sound like talking points from the Democrats.

For instance, calling the first stage of construction a ‘train to nowhere’ as if it will be the only stage ever built. Was I-70 in rural Kansas and rural Missouri a ‘road to nowhere’ when it became the first Interstate to be constructed? Or was it just the first part of a much larger project that took over forty years to complete?

The objection that rail will cost too much when California is already broke? Well, at least it is something tangible the taxpayers will have as opposed to more money for teachers pensions and more money for illegal aliens to attend college for free.

My favorite talking point is the repeated use of the word ‘Boondoggle’. At this point anyone who uses that word is just a braying ass who can’t come up with their own ideas so they just bray “BOONDOGGLE!!!” as if that makes them sound intelligent. If all you got to argue against this project is one word then please STFU and allow more intelligent people to make an intelligent argument against the project.

By the way, a French firm recently offered to take over the project and to build it with their own money if the route would be shifted from the eastern side of the San Joaquin Valley to the western side, which would be more direct and save about $30 billion dollars. The politicians, Republican and Democrat, objected because too many of them have schemed to have the project run across their properties along Hwy 99 so they can screw the taxpayers out of more money.

The question here is not about whether or not it should be built, but why we’re not letting the French build it on their own and where they want to? And barring the French, why isn’t the state of California insisting on building it where it will save $30 billion dollars?


20 posted on 07/16/2012 12:36:59 PM PDT by MeganC (If you are hell-bent on delaying maturity you will likely succeed.)
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To: MeganC
They are not funding this in the same way they funded the interstate highways. That in my mind does not excuse how the interstate highways were executed; the major problem is here how the federal government’s regulations and the politicking here have resulted in a politically-charged right of way for the railroad in question that reduces its utility while increasing its costs, and on top of that how something like this ought to cost far less than even a new-build four-lane interstate (even with electrification), and yet even worse how the best practice of overseas gets ignored (building next to an interstate highway—how easy is that?—new right of way building is extremely minimal).

I am of the mind that every interstate and airport should have been privately funded, mind you. When it comes to those transportation modes, though, this country actually adopted a grossly anti-rail stance when they decided to get into the transportation business and funding infrastructure through allegedly “dedicated” taxes. They had no qualms taxing the railroads, especially their passenger side, out of business, while in some cases providing direct subsidy to airports (and I can only take the word of the government that it is only the gas tax that funds the highways—given their penchant for “creative accounting”, I tend not to believe a single word they say though)—yet the federal government had no problems taxing passenger tickets at a rate of 10 percent during the 50s and 60s and throwing that money into the general fund instead of applying it towards passenger rail infrastructure in like manner to how gas taxes are allegedly applied towards interstate asphalt and naught else.

In the 1930s, the then-new streamlined diesel locomotives were geared to achieve a top speed of 120 miles per hour (which was really high speed for back then), and now thanks to FRA regulation, only 450 miles of railroad in the northeast can reach and exceed 100 mph legally—and that’s eight decades later. What’s wrong with that picture?
21 posted on 07/16/2012 3:46:31 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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