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