High-speed rail audit paints portrait of failure

The California Boondoggle Express

From the Contra Costa Times we get an excellent editorial on the numerous faux pas surrounding the California High-Speed Rail Project.

JUST HOW MUCH cold water in the face does it take to waken some folks from their slumber in fantasyland? That’s the question that, despite another dose of icy reality, remains unanswered about supporters of California’s high-speed railroad illusion.

The latest blow to the Boondoggle Express comes from California Inspector General Laura Chick. She concluded that the agency in charge of the $43 billion project is not fully equipped to spend taxpayer money, yet has signed huge checks to contractors without even checking their work.

The rail authority has received $2.25 billion in “stimulus” grants. Voters also have approved another $9 billion in bonds for the rail system. However, Chick’s audit found that the authority has not established the plans needed to spend the money.

Most significantly for the long-term fiscal health of the high-speed rail system, the governing authority has no plan to assure that the train will be able to operate without a taxpayer subsidy, as promised in the bond measure.

Also troubling, the authority has not tracked stimulus expenses under a separate account as required by the federal government.

In other words, the rail authority has ignored both the voters who mistakenly agreed to the $9 billion bond and the federal government, which doled out $2.25 billion to help stimulate the economy.

You can read the rest here.  I’m not as polite as whoever wrote the editorial, but I don’t answer to a higher authority (boss) or advertisers. That’s the way things work here in “Libtardia” (AKA: California). Dole out billions of dollars and no one bothers to check into how it’s being spent and moreover there’s no plans on how to spend it. The basic attach plan seems to be to throw piles of money in one direction or another and see what, if anything happens. Anyone who thinks this pile of junk will be built within the established budget needs a straight-jacket and a large supply of Thorazine.

Why do I say that? Well, personally I can’t ever remember anything the State of California does coming in under budget. If I’m wrong please let me know, even if there is anything it’s probably not much.

Example? Let’s take the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge eastern span being built to replace the cantilever span that is not considered to be earthquake safe, even though it survived the 1989 6.9 earthquake with only one section failing, which it was designed to do. It’s 10 years overdue and about $4 billion dollars over budget. Yes $4 billion dollars! They’re not even done building it either, so I’d suspect that it will end up being even more over budget by the time it’s completed.

The Feds need to put the skids on this overpriced boondoggle before it gets out of hand.

Source: Contra Costa Times


Filed under Editor

2 responses to “High-speed rail audit paints portrait of failure

  1. Ralph

    Failure is when a local government taxes the majority of the county residents for something they’ll never use. Florida’s Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail is prime example of this. Fortunately Florida’s new governor says he’ll veto the train if it’s a burden on the taxpayers.

  2. guest

    Is the Proposed Trans Global Highway a solution for future population concerns and global warming?

    One excellent solution to future population concerns as well as alleviating many of the effects of potential global warming is the Frank Didik proposal for the construction of the “Trans Global Highway”. The Didik proposed Trans Global Highway would create a world wide network of standardized roads, railroads, water pipe lines, oil and gas pipelines, electrical and communication cables. The result of this remarkable, far sighted project will be global unity through far better distribution of resources, including heretofore difficult to obtain or unaccessible raw materials, fresh water, finished products and lower global transportation costs.

    With greatly expanded global fresh water distribution, arid lands could be cultivated resulting in a huge abundance of global food supplies. The most conservative estimate is that with the construction of the Trans Global Highway, the planet will be able to feed several billion more people, using presently available modern farming technologies. With the present global population of just under 7 billion people and at the United Nations projection of population increase, the world will produce enough food surpluses to feed the expected increased population for several hundred years.

    Thomas Robert Malthus’s famous dire food shortage predictions of 1798 and his subsequent books, over the next 30 years, failed to take into consideration modern advances in farming, transportation, food storage and food abundance. Further information on the proposed Trans Global Highway can be found at http://www.TransGlobalHighway.com .