California's moonbeam governor and his big spending cohorts are charging ahead with their high speed rail fantasy in the face of public opposition that has arisen with the exposure of the lies that were used to gain voter approval of the originally proposed project.
It turns out that the initially planned project would cost not the lowball figure that was used to sell the boondoggle to the public but almost exactly what its critical opponents had predicted from the outset.
Faced with that unpleasant fact, the tax-and-spend fantacists are -- for the moment -- cutting back their plans and charging ahead into the valley of financial death. They intend to spend the funds they have on hand to build a portion of the line in the state's sparsely populated central valley and connect only a few small towns and two midsize ones at the initial terminal points. No funds have been committed and none are in sight to connect the project to either San Francisco or Los Angeles. Providing high speed ground transportation between those two major cities was the point of the initially conceived project.
Underlying the now planned fiscally reckless and irresponsible foray is the confidence of the high speed rail authorities that once their initial rail line to nowhere is built, they will be able to extort the funds necessary to connect the state's major metropolitan areas for whatever it may cost by pointing out that if they are prevented from doing so, the initially expended public funds will have been wasted.
They also claim that once the entire system is up and running, train operations will be self sustaining with no need for any subsidy from the taxpayers.
All one needs to do to evaluate that claim is to do what Al Smith, a sensible Democrat mayor of New York in a saner and more responsible time, always recommended: Look at the record:
The counterparts of the people making these promises are the ones who promised that:
* If voters approved the bonds to build the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge, the bonds would be repaid from the 65-cent (in each direction) tolls, and then the bridge would be toll free. The construction bonds were retired long ago but now the commute hours toll for a driver traveling alone is $6.
* If voters approved the bonds to build the Bay Area Rapid Transit System, it would be self sustaining. Google BART to see what it now costs to travel on the system. Furthermore, the fares, lofty though they be, are dwarfed by the taxpayer subsidies necessary to keep the system operating. And the system provides transportation that, in addition to not being cheap, is not (i) comfortable, (ii) convenient, (iii) fast, (iv) reliable, or (v) safe. The rail cars, incidentally, were ordered without anything that standing passengers could hold onto because it was promised that the trains would run only three minutes apart and therefore there always would be seats for everyone. Hah! It is true that there is no need for anything for standees to hold onto because during rush hours the cars are crowded to the point that passenger are so closely pressed together that no one could possible fall down. After the system was built, those who had promoted it admitted that they had lied as necessary to get it approved.
* The Golden Gate Bridge also was supposed to be toll free once its construction bonds were retired. Instead the leeches occupying the bridge authority's sinecures have expanded into the ferry and bus businesses, both of which are subsidized by the bridge's tolls, which have climbed to unbelievable levels that can be seen by Googling the bridge's website.
The foregoing has been replicated by those who extort and expend public funds in virtually every venue and jurisdiction in and throughout the U.S.