Boondoggle: California High Speed Rail

Boondoggle: California High Speed Rail

The masterminds in Sacramento are at it again. This time, their utopian fantasy is California’s high-speed rail boondoggle. Surely, it’s time to get a dose of reality as to how damaging this fiasco in the making will be for our the Golden State. The biggest losers in this financial disaster will be taxpayers and K-12 Education. Here’s why.

High-speed rail was sold to us on the notion that the private sector will pick up a big part of the funding, and yet so far, private sector funding is nonexistent. Originally, California High Speed Rail was supposed to cost $33 billion, but since government always underestimates costs, the real cost ballooned to $98 billion. Governor Brown reduced the cost to a more reasonable $68 billion. What’s worse, interest for the bonds will easily double the final price tag taxpayers will end up paying.

The Contra Costa Times has reported that the date of completion has been delayed from 2020 to 2029. Ticket costs have swelled from $55 to $85. Many have reported that it is unlikely that the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles can actually be completed in 2 hours and 40 minutes.

It’s simply irresponsible for Governor Brown to say that deep cuts need to be made to education and Healthy Families and yet he seems to think we can afford this boondoggle!

Railroading a vote to pass High Speed Rail, Sacramento has proven just how far out of touch they are with the concerns of the citizens of California. It does not make sense to reduce the amount of time our students are in the classrooms while increasing the debt on these same students.

Democrat leaders are saying NO to the success of future generations by cutting the education budget while spending more money on jobs that help unions that contributed to the politicians.

Have we forgotten that the rail network in our country today was built by private initiative? Have we forgotten that the air network that is in our country today was built by private initiative?
The fact that there is no private sector funding suggests that this will truly be an example of government inefficiency at its finest.

This is not a case where the private sector is driving this project. Instead, the government is forcing an expensive project in the name of jobs upon us.

President Obama and others like to point to China as an example of high-speed rail that we should emulate. Unfortunately, Chinaís high-speed rail is fraught with waste and corruption and it breaks down frequently.

The only good news is for Sacramento politicians who can rest easy knowing the unions who support them with campaign financing and votes will be placated once again.

The bad news is that our children and grandchildren will shoulder the burden by having to pay for this massive government monstrosity.

~ Mark Meuser is a candidate for the California State Senate, District 7.

This article first appeared at www.halfwaytoconcord.com.

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