Jerry and Arnold wanted a choo choo train so bad they were and are willing to lie, cheat and steal to get one.

They lie about the ridership.

They cheated us by not telling the truth about the costs.

Now they want to steal $200 billion to build a train, yet not have a dime to operate it.  The cost to operate?  A subsidy of $2 billion a year, so the rich can enjoy the drive, while the rest of us work hard to pay for their luxuries.

“What California should do is reassess why people are leaving the state in droves and what it could do to help its economy. The obvious place to start would be to repeal job-killing legislation such as “Cap and Trade” so that jobs and businesses stay in California. Cap and Trade is reckless and detrimental to our financial state. If Sacramento really cared about the environment, it would repeal this law and replace it with responsible legislation that carefully balances the needs of the environment and lessens the burdens on companies so they can provide jobs for Californians.”

Maybe if transportation money was spent on roads instead of bike, horse and walking trails, we would have great roads—oh, if transportation money wasn’t spent on money losing government transportation systems, that would also help.

 

Off the rails of a high-speed train

Donna Lowe, Assembly Candidate 41st District, Exclusive to the California Political News and Views, 5/9/12

Like a shop-a-holic with a credit card, California just keeps getting itself into a financial hole. Its latest spending venture is a $100 billion project involving a high speed rail train that would travel from San Diego to San Francisco. There are many reasons we don’t need a high-speed rail train to span the state of California. The biggest reason is that we are broke. Our state can’t afford $100 million, much less $100 billion.

To be fair, though, let’s ask ourselves why we need this train. Is it because we need to keep up with other countries that have high-speed rail systems? If so, it’s a weak argument given that what works well in one country doesn’t always work well in another.

Let’s also consider whether the benefits outweigh the costs. And how long it will take for it to pay itself off? Certainly this project could take decades to complete. How much expense, foreseen or unseen, will be associated with such a huge undertaking? And what kind of effect will it have on other things such as education, eminent domain and uprooted communities?

Proponents may claim that this project will create jobs. But most of the jobs it would create are temporary, public (government) sector jobs, not permanent, private sector jobs. And as is the case with government jobs, they’re funded by you and me, the taxpayers. When people and corporations are taxed to their limit, they’ll leave, and California will generate less expected tax revenue.

While Governor Jerry Brown calls opponents of his pet project “declinists,” he suggests that these “naysayers” are equivalent to those who opposed the interstate highway system, the Golden Gate Bridge and the state water project. Still, I can’t follow the logic in Sacramento that says spending $100 billion dollars is going to create anything but a massive bureaucracy and massive debt.

I have to ask myself, how truly successful is government at creating jobs? It seems that anything government touches is a disaster. Think about Solyndra and other “green jobs” companies the federal government thought were such winners. We keep hearing about these companies being given grants (your and my money) and a year or two later filing for bankruptcy. I don’t think it would be much different at the state level.

What would be more beneficial is to examine the reasons not to build this railway. One important reason is that California already has a transportation infrastructure in place with 18 airports that make traveling anywhere in the state quick, easy and convenient. A person can get anywhere within the state in about an hour’s time. Plus, flights within the state are inexpensive in relation to the cost of taking the highly subsidized Amtrak train. More importantly, airlines are not subsidized; they create their own private sector jobs.

What California should do is reassess why people are leaving the state in droves and what it could do to help its economy. The obvious place to start would be to repeal job-killing legislation such as “Cap and Trade” so that jobs and businesses stay in California. Cap and Trade is reckless and detrimental to our financial state. If Sacramento really cared about the environment, it would repeal this law and replace it with responsible legislation that carefully balances the needs of the environment and lessens the burdens on companies so they can provide jobs for Californians.

What we can do is elect responsible, practical and sensible people to put an end to wasteful spending. It’s time to start chipping away at the stone of state debt. It will take strong leaders in Sacramento to do this. It will also take smart citizens that have the courage to put people in office who are willing to look after the best interests of their constituents and put the needs of the people above the desires of their own.

The more government taxes its citizens and puts regulations on its businesses, the more people and companies are going to leave and set up shop elsewhere. It’s happening now. And as a result, this state ranks among the last in job friendliness, business friendliness and tax friendliness. It’s time to send Sacramento a message. We don’t need, nor can we afford, a $100 billion high-speed train to nowhere.

 

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