The Majestic Bullet Train. The brainchild of our illustrious liberal lawmakers wanting to leave their legacy in California after they’re gone. Jerry Brown, Californias lovable governor who still doesn’t seem to grasp how email works has been a champion of the project, convinced it is one of the most important projects in CA history. Funny story though. That magical rail line that could take you from Oakland to LA in two hours will not even be remotely completed by the time Jerry terms out in 2 1/2 years. Billions of dollars in borrowed money since its 2008 inception has left us with a doomed plan and no train. Whoops.
So where did our lawmakers go wrong in the idea of the California equivalent of the Train à Grande Vitesse (the French bullet train)? Well… kind of all over the place really.
On the official ballot pamphlet, it was stated that funds for the train would come from a combo of private investment and federal dollars. What was not on there? RAISING TAXES. Pigeonholed by that writing, we are now 8 years in advance with no private funding, dwindling federal funds, and California tax payer money disappearing rapidly while the project sits at 50% above its budget. With the prospects of financing the colossal failure dwindling before his eyes, Jerry Brown went as far to turn to the states new cap-and-trade carbon dioxide auction as a new revenue source.
Now the cap-and-trade auctions were supposed to create $10.6 billion in new taxes borrowing against future revenue through 2050. May’s auction fell short. 98% short. The whole $500 million they expected to use $150 million to support the rail project only made $10 million. It kind of seems like this project is more of a money drain than anything else.
The big question in all this is why the hell our state politicians in support of this project felt this train was even necessary. California’s infrastructure is constantly with problems that are horribly underfunded. Hell the water infrastructure itself has only been recently approved for a big overhaul (took them only a few decades). To what end is this train supposed to create? Green travel to reduce emissions? Ease for Californians to travel throughout the state? The simple fact is this train helps with none of that. From San Francisco to LA as its only fully established route, it is horridly impractical for business travelers and even just regular commuters. If you live in Sacramento and want to go to LA, you would be paying the same as a train ticket and getting to your destination in less time. What about carbon emissions and environmentally friendly options for the state? Look I care about the environment just as much as the next guy, and would love to see some actually efficient options for making our environment better without screwing over regular people. So let’s call this for what it is. A Giant investment project screwing the taxpayers and not helping Californians nor the environment in any practical manner is a waste. It’s time to cancel the bullet train to nowhere before we are dug into a far deeper financial hole and use that funding for things that matter and actually make a difference.
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