May 19, 2012

"Not even a busted state fisc can stop Jerry Brown's train to nowhere."

"Transportation experts warn that the 500-mile bullet train from San Francisco to Los Angeles could cost more than $100 billion, though the Governor pegs the price at a mere $68 billion. The state has $12.3 billion in pocket, $9 billion from the state and $3.3 billion from the feds, but Mr. Brown hasn't a clue where he'll get the rest...."
Mr. Brown is hoping that Washington will pony up more than $50 billion, but the feds have committed only $3.3 billion so far—and Republicans intend to claw it back if they take the Senate and White House this fall. If that happens, the state won't have enough money to complete its first 130-mile segment in the lightly populated Central Valley, which in any event wouldn't be operable since the state can't afford to electrify the tracks....
What a disaster! Remember a year and a half ago, when Wisconsin elected a new governor who said he'd kill the high-speed rail deal? I was a single-issue voter for Scott Walker then, and that was my issue. Here's a newspaper article from December 2010: "High-speed rail funds scatter to other states... California gets lion's share."
Wisconsin will keep only a fraction of the $810 million it won in federal high-speed rail money.... California is the big winner, with up to $624 million....

[Exiting Democratic Governor Jim] Doyle called the loss of the high-speed rail funds a "tragic moment for the state of Wisconsin. Eight hundred and ten million dollars that would have gone to create thousands of jobs in Wisconsin will now create jobs in other states... I obviously am deeply saddened to see us take a major step backward."
Ha. It's been so not tragic.
"My congratulations to the workers in California and Florida. As a result of this decision, you will have a merry Christmas," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said at a news conference. "I'm just sad the same won't happen here in Wisconsin."
Tom Barrett is, of course, the Democratic Party candidate in the recall election against Scott Walker, but back then, he'd just lost the regular election to Walker. The recall election is in 2 weeks. I wonder if he's been asked about these old statements about the damned train and how lucky California was to get that federal cash infusion Scott Walker spurned.

53 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

Democrats believe in free lunches.

Chip S. said...

Here's a simple visual depiction of federal funding for high-speed rail projects.

Methadras said...

Jerry 'the admitted liar' Brown along with this leftard democrat cohorts in the state assembly and state senate are going to finally sink the state into an abysmal hole it will never be able to climb itself out of and the choo-choo to nowhere of death will be the e-ticket ride that takes it there. These fucking fools have no idea how to run anything. They will torch one of the world's greatest economies into the ground to erect edifices to themselves to highlight their final personal legacies. Everyone of them needs to simply die in a fire for what they have done to this great state. It's over.

Richard Dolan said...

It's his version of the ruins British gardeners liked to build in 19th century formal gardens. They were useless but served as a charming reminder of times past for those without the interest to read history. They also served as a demonstration of the power and position of the patron who commissioned them. The train boondoggle in California will function in both capacities even if it never carries a single passenger.

edutcher said...

The Lefties wanted to go back to the future with Governor Moonbeam and now they got what they wanted, much as they did with Dictator Zero, Dingy Harry, Pelosi Galore, and the Congress of '08.

For the next hundred years, anytime anybody wants to beat somebody over the head with the folly of their ways, Caliphony and the Obama Years will be used the way the Demos used to use Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, and Joe McCarthy.

Maguro said...

But high speed choo-choos are the key to Winning The Future. Garage mahal assured me of this.

CWJ said...

Richard Dolan,

Imagery and historical irony such as yours is one reason I follow this blog. Well crafted.

Comanche Voter said...

Governor Moonbeam has finally made that final mental move into Cloud Cuckoo Land. Earlier this week on Charlie Rose he claimed that California could not be counted out--it was still the Wild West where great new things were constantly being invented. Why said Moonbeam look at Facebook--which was invented in California.
When Rose gently, and correctly, pointed out that Facebook had been invented in Cambridge Mass by a Harvard student, Moonbeam replied "Well. . . .they're here now!!!!" as though that made up for his stupidity.

Some things you can't fix. This moron didn't know what to do with Linda Ronstadt when he took her on safari to Africa in the 1970's and he's equally frickin' clueless today.

The good thing is that the California voters--who were bamboozled into voting for this high speed rail mess in ~2004 or 2006 or so have had the scales peeled form their eyes--and if they were to vote today, the thing would go down in flames.

CWJ said...

edutcher,

Used to use Joe McCarthy??? If only that were true.

Michael K said...

A new branch of the light rail system that Los Angeles has built and which does have some logic to it (although it does not go to LAX), opened last month and has no riders. That didn't stop the rail enthusiasts who are put off by nothing, especially economics.

After all, Hollywood is the home of "IF you build it, they will come." That was a movie, of course.

caseym54 said...

California is the big winner

I live in California. I don't feel like a winner.

Quayle said...

America does best when we dream big.

High-speed passenger trains are yesterday's technology.

(One of my colleagues in Paris sarcastically said that America went to the Moon and France felt a national duty to match it so they built a high speed train system.)

We should be developing a vehicle that can drive itself on an interstate, and use the interstate's electric power source to boot.

Stage to enter I-80 just south of Chicago, and punch in that you're going to Cheyenne.

Then sit back and watch movies.


Rather than just for passengers, we should be developing high-speed car trains so I can drive on in Dallas and Drive off in Denver, and the entire trip is powered by electricity.

caseym54 said...

Do you have any idea how much more useful even a 10th of that money would be building subways in LA?

BUt don't worry about that train -- the few billions being spent will never be used for construction. But the planning and permit folks will have a nice few years run with it.

edutcher said...

CWJ said...

edutcher,

Used to use Joe McCarthy??? If only that were true.


Nowadays, it seems it's more trendy to invoke Dubya and start whining about torture.

Seeing Red said...

--If that happens, the state won't have enough money to complete its first 130-mile segment in the lightly populated Central Valley, ---


The train to nowhere because the environmental policies killed Central California.


December 15, 2010 12:00 P.M.
Two Californias
Abandoned farms, Third World living conditions, pervasive public assistance -- welcome to the once-thriving Central Valley.
By Victor Davis Hanson

traditionalguy said...

The latest technical marvels will save us: Passenger trains from the 1800s, electric battery cars from 1910 and windmills from the 1300s.

That Green Obama sure is a modern guy.

Penny said...

Paul Krugman and Jerry Brown interning as Santa's elves.

"Kids" think they look good in green!

Adults just trying to hang on to the little green they have left.

kcom said...

It's a zombie train.

alan markus said...

Yeah, that's the ticket! Barrett should run on a promise to restore high speed rail in Wisconsin.

CWJ said...

edutcher,

Noted, but Bush and torture are the left's sword. McCarthyism and raaacisssm are their shields. Should BHO lose, then I predict McCarthyism will retake its rightful place on the left arm of the left.

Elliott A said...

In some places, including Wisconsin, people are waking up. Here in Virginia Beach, the powers to be want a referendum on a 800 million plus light rail line which as always will be way plus. They are also hopeful of other people's money. Fortunately, the firefighters, police, and teachers have all come out in opposition since they know where the money to subsidize and pay deficits will come from. We are a suburban city of 450000 people, but no centralized city center. There are few people who actually live near the route to use it without having to drive to it when it becomes just a hassle. You can hardly take your beach items on a glorified trolley car, so it is even worthless there. Chris Cristie started this awakening by killing a 12 billion tunnel.

Rick said...

We are in a very bad way here in California. I have sent a lot of California dollars to the Gov and Lt. Gov to help with their campaigns. California is a long way from ever having leaders like them.

rhhardin said...

KFI's John and Ken, after the Silver Streak, call it the Brown Streak.

ndspinelli said...

I think this country needs a Soul Train and Crack can be the conductor. It may not be profitable but you know it will be fun!

Bender said...

Hopefully, they will at least be able to build the stretch from Ogdenville to North Haverbrook. And to save money, as well as the planet, they can install windmills on each train to self-power them as they go along.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

So I'm three months behind on my mortgage, my six kids need dental checkups, my wife ran up a $2500 credit card tab at Nordstom's, and I just lost my job.

But I'm going to look great tooling around in my brand new Lamborghini!

(Are you getting the allusion here, Governor Brown?)

Penny said...

Spinelli, sounds like a grand plan!

Ha ha

Jay said...

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel endorses Scott Walker.

PatCA said...

Not to worry! Grandpa Moonbeam has it all figured out. Once the carbon trading scheme kicks in, there will be $50-100 billion to fund everything!! High speed rail, Van Jones' schemes, more welfare, everything you ever wanted!

Of course, that assumes all the businesses that will have to pay the tax will stay in CA and remain solvent.

http://www.calwatchdog.com/2012/05/18/will-cap-and-trade-cure-californias-deficit/

sane_voter said...

Everybody get on the Supertrain!

AllieOop said...

Spinelli, but will Crack let women ride?

Lyle said...

Progressive and their effete choo-choos. Economic illiteracy.

Carnifex said...

@AllieOop

Crack will let you ride, but he will never let you drive :-)

Carnifex said...

Here in Kentucky we don't have light rail...anywhere. Heck, I just got carpeting put in the bathroom last year. I liked it so well, I'm gonna' run it all the way up to the house. Won't have to mow the lawn anymore too.

crosspatch said...

It would be cheaper for the state of California to purchase a fleet of 737's than it would be to build this railroad. I really can't see the point of it. A flight from San Jose to Los Angeles costs $178 round trip on United Airlines. Southwest is $10 more. How can "high speed rail" compete with that and stay in business?

I can't even drive it for that amount of money, it costs more in gas for that one way in my SUV.

Ken Mitchell said...

The problem is not that "trains are so 19th century", although they are. The problem isn't even that the cost estimates have been lowballed while the ridership forecasts have been inflated to the stratosphere, which they have.

The problem with California high speed rail is that the wrong people are building it and paying for it.

The purpose of a high-speed rail corridor from San Francisco to Anaheim is simple; to take vacationing families to Disneyland. Disney also happens to have a lot of experience in building and running trains, and I think Disney should built this one.

Revenant said...

California isn't a democracy. It is a Democratocracy.

The Crack Emcee said...

edutcher,

The Lefties wanted to go back to the future with Governor Moonbeam and now they got what they wanted, much as they did with Dictator Zero, Dingy Harry, Pelosi Galore, and the Congress of '08.

You say that like the Righties, wanting to go back as Joseph Smith's sidekick, are promising something better. He saw the theory of everything on some magic plates in a hat.

We're so screwed,...

The Crack Emcee said...

Carnifex,

@AllieOop

Crack will let you ride, but he will never let you drive :-)


You're right - as often as that horny cricket is making sounds about me - I'll pull her along in a boxcar so she can rub her legs together without waking the other passengers.

All Aboard!!!!!!!!!!

rhhardin said...

The California legislature has been captured by the public unions.

Nothing, no matter how unpopular, can be stopped.

The economic term is rent-seeking.

rhhardin said...

The latest idea from California is raising parking fines again and adding more meter maids to the payroll to collect the fines.

There's no parking if you shop online. I don't know if they realize this.

More hassle, fewer California businesses.

But that's tomorrow, and they need money today.

Michael Haz said...

The only bullet train that Tom Barrett is concerned about these days is the Cannonball Express to Oblivion that his campaign has become, especially after the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel's endorsement of Scott Walker.

virgil xenophon said...

@rhhardin/

Put more metermaids on the payroll?? Boy are Calif politicians slow on the uptake! New Orleans politicians are WAY more crafty. In NO metermaids actually work for a pvt company (tho they wear police uniforms--of a sort) and the company gets paid for each ticket issued no matter whether the ticket is paid or not. And the company can reissue the ticket MULTIPLE TIMES (and get paid by the city each time) to known mailing addresses. The advantage to the city? (the city politicians, that is, NOT the taxpayer) The company makes HUGE campaign contributions to the Mayor's re-election campaigns. See how much better it's done in New Orleans?

AllieOop said...

Jiminy Cricket! That's mighty big of you Crack!

Alex said...

I can see Crack's non-stop sickening anti-Mormon bigotry is on display.

Crack - do you ever tired of just hating?

Tim said...

If California's real purpose is to demonstrate to intelligent voters in other states the extreme moral hazard of voting Democrat, then, as a Californian who is an American first, I can find some silver lining to this assured failure and bankruptcy.

Just don't be surprised though when California comes shaking its tin cup in Washington for the bailout.

I'm thinking federal receivership is probably worth disenfranchising all of us from self-state governance; we're obviously proving we're too damned stupid to do so without adult supervision.

Tim said...

rhhardin said...

"The California legislature has been captured by the public unions.

Nothing, no matter how unpopular, can be stopped.

The economic term is rent-seeking."


Add to that the extreme environmentalists, trial lawyers and "consumer advocates," leeches all, and that's who is driving the bus.

Over the cliff.

Fred Drinkwater said...

As a native Californian, I always planned to retire to some low cost-of-living, backwater state. The last few decades of CA lawmakers have built up a nice momentum in the "backwater" direction, so I was thinking I could retire in-place, but they seem to be fumbling the ball when it comes to low-cost.
Can't have everything, I guess.

30yearProf said...

It's about UNION JOBS. Not transportation. No one in politics cares if it works. IT CREATS union JOBS!

Larry J said...

Brown and the Democrats don't want something as mundane as a road to serfdom. They want a high speed train to serfdom!

Eugene said...

Here's an amusing account of how crazy the money-losing economics of commuter rail transport can get in train-crazy Japan, when JR East tried to axe "the least trafficked line in the whole nation." A sign of things to come in California.

Kirk Parker said...

"We should be developing a vehicle that can drive itself on an interstate, and use the interstate's electric power source to boot."

Ummm, Quayle: interstate highways don't have "power sources".

Kirk Parker said...

Tim,

Federal receivership is just a start. A state declaring bankruptcy should revert to being federal territory, any officeholder barred for life from holding office anywhere in the US (sure there are federalism concerns, but our crack Supreme Court is pretty good at inventing rationales), and any citizen of the dissolving state barred for life from voting any any election anywhere in the US.