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California Legislature funding Billions into New Rail System; Are they on a Crazy Train or Are they Insane?

ALL ABOARD!!: Five days ago, California’s legislature voted on and approved $8 Billion of their funds to be allocated for the construction of a high speed rail line. Though this has been a controversial form of spending a few government employees support this. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stated, “I congratulate the Legislature on taking this action, which will create thousands of jobs and strengthen the California economy,” in a recent blog post. Yes it will create jobs, but for how long? What do the workers do once the construction is finished? The vote for approval reflect the controversy surrounding this rail line, with the results being 21-16 and passing only after years of heated debates, setbacks, and lest we forget a lot of debt.

Why should it be Derailed?: Like I stated earlier California has had more than its fair share of debt problems and financial issues. Considering the fact the $8 billion required for this project means the legislature would have to cut the education budget. “It’s unfortunate that the majority would rather spend billions of dollars that we don’t have for a train to nowhere than keep schools open and harmless from budget cuts.”, stated Senator Tom Harman. At one point the train was claimed to stretch from Anaheim to San Francisco and doing so would cost $40 billion, obviously there have been many changes since then. What kind of changes? Try 3 California cities filing for bankruptcy since June 28th, 2012. How did they accrue such a large deficit to where bankruptcy was their only option? Simple, they spent more money than they had things like multi-year labor union contracts for city workers, a promenade, sports arena, hotels, don’t forget about the $8 billion high speed rail train. 

My Opinion: When judging the California legislature by Einstein’s definitions, it’s clear they aren’t on a crazy train ride but rather they’re just Insane. After all what is insanity if not doing the same thing over, and over, and over again, and yet still expecting a different result? I say “over, and over, and over again”, because three cities have already went down the path of which the California legislature is embarking upon. All three cities found bankruptcy waiting for them at the end of that path. Coincidence? Its clear that now is certainly not the time for Big Government to go on a spending spree that’ll lead to further bankruptcies. Such a spending spree is not only wrong but unfair, when considering the national unemployment rate is listed as 8%, 12% of young Americans are unemployed, the average American family worth is $77,300, all indicating that the average citizen can barely afford to spend anything. Unfortunately, California citizens are stuck with their legislatures spending decisions, just as U.S. citizens are stuck with their legislatures taxing decisions, at least  until the citizens get a chance to vote out the politicians responsible. This is the sad fact about our government and yet it is simultaneously the saving grace for the citizens.

By: Milton L. Jefferson

A Contributor to The Constitutional Knight

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2 responses

  1. I have been following this news… it is clearly a take-away from what we need in California (e.g. education, auditing the state government) and a giving the money away. That money is gone, and the Metro trains were a better idea and look how good that turned out.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    • It didn’t occur to me until after I finished the research for this post, but I’m curious what the cost for citizens to ride will be (excluding price paid in taxes, just the pure cost per ticket/mile.) Because ticket sales are the only way to recoup the billions spent. If the price is too high in an economy like this, it will financially hurt citizens and drive tickets sales down until they’re virtually nonexistent. With no/low ticket sales, the state won’t be able to afford the cost of employees for facility/train maintenance which would lead this project even further in the red. Like I said I havent researched the price yet, so I cant say for sure what it is or what may happen. Its still something to ponder.

      Milton

      July 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm

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