Saturday, July 07, 2012

High-speed rail: Green light for red ink

Diversity in action: straight and gay united in stupidity

Watching the State Senate "debate" high-speed rail yesterday was not an inspiring experience. Our State Senators both voted for this unwise, poorly-conceived project. 

Leno was point man for the Democrats, reading the party line arguments from the High-Speed Rail Authority about "blended systems" and "improvements" in the LA and SF "bookends," including $61 million for the Central Subway boondoggle. Spread the pork around was the successful strategy for supporters of this dumb project.

The Chinese Yee and the gay Leno voted to authorize $4.6 billion in state bonds. Diversity in action! Gays, people of color, and straights united in stupidity! 

Servicing those bonds will cost state taxpayers around $300 million a year even as the state is cutting aid to education, closing state parks, and shredding the safety net for the poor. 

Now that the governor and the legislature have failed to protect the interests of the people of California, the high-speed rail struggle will move to the courts, where the project is facing several lawsuits, including in the Central Valley, where, not surprisingly, farmers are opposed to having their profitable land torn apart by train tracks. 

There's also opposition on the Peninsula, where towns and individual property owners will have to be convinced that having a high-speed rail system tearing through their highly-developed area is a good idea.

And there's the freight railroad, Union Pacific, which told the state two years ago that "no part of the high-speed corridor may be located on UP's right of way."

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At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know which is a more stupid use of funds, the Central Subway or building High Speed Rail from Bakersfield to Fresno?

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Both are stupid, but the high-speed rail is dumber if only because it wastes a lot more money than the Central Subway.

Both of these "progressive" fiascos illustrate what I've been saying here for years, that identity politics is a dead end when confronted with important public policy issues. There's no gay, black, Asian-American, Hispanic, transgender solution and/or analysis of these projects. Everyone and society in general---except for those directly benefiting from these boondoggles, like union workers---suffers when increasingly scarce tax money is wasted this way.

The state is raising tuition on UC and state college students, but our representatives---Democrats, all---insist on spending hundreds of millions on these projects. Shameful.

At 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you care? You'll be dead by the time the bill comes due, and if not, you don't pay taxes anyway.

At 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found out way to late that Leno is open to the highest bidder. He if completely deaf to the voices of his constituents and in just ONE other example has taken tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to further DJ and late night clubs abutting residential land use in SOMA and Broadway, he carried legislation in Sacto that makes it easier for these venues to do all sorts of things that impact people that have been living in areas years before clubs arrived. He wins my creep of the decade award.

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need this project. All the stats posted show that ridership will be significant and the project will be a huge success story.

At 12:42 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Bullshit. You're faking it, Anon. Please share with us the "stats" showing that this is a good project.

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Publically the number is now $68 billion but the project will come in way under budget, and the state knows it.

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

More fakery. Evidence?

At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what bob. When this baby runs, the first time I ride it I'm going to paste your photo on the window and pee on it. Pallllyyyyooooooooooo!

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Maybe you could paste your lips to my ass. You're going to have a long wait, Anon because it's not going to happen. The close vote in the Senate was not a good sign for such a big project it just symbolized how divided the state is on high-speed rail, with the nays now in a clear majority in public opinion polls.

Spending $300 million in interest on these bonds while you're cutting the state's education system to the bone and asking taxpayers to raise taxes on themselves. What could go wrong with that?


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