Surprise, Surprise, Non-Partisan Analyst Exposes California High Speed Rail’s Flawed Finances




As often happens when pipe-dreams collide with reality, the California High Speed Train project has just experienced its second major set-back in just the last month. After cost projections for the train-to-nowhere were doubled just a few weeks ago, a new report from the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found that the high-speed rail plan “does not comply with key provisions of a ballot measure that voters approved,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

The audit found that high speed rail officials  “must complete an environmental review and identify a corridor, a usable segment, all sources of committed funds and a schedule for the receipt of financing,” before any of the $9 billion that voters approved in 2008 can be requested, the Times reported.

Of course, none of these major failures were among the selling points when this boondoggle was pitched to voters three years ago. Similarly, no such prognostications of rapidly inflating costs and rapidly deflating benefits are being pitched with a similar ballot box boondoggle, the so-called California Cancer Research Act.

This project, funded by a nearly $1 billion annual tax hike, duplicates existing programs, but still adds a brand new $16 million bureaucracy to California’s already bloated public sector. What’s worse is that this project’s spending continues year after year, regardless of whether the state can afford it or not.

At a time when California is facing record level deficits, doubling down on the out-of-control spending that drove the state into the ground is surely not the way to go. Like working families across the nation, California bureaucrats should learn to live within their means.

About Martha Montelongo

Martha Montelongo, Host of Gadfly Radio with Cal Watch Dog on, Tuesday nights at 8 PM PT. Spends her time between Santa Cruz and So California.