Saturday, July 7, 2012

In praise of Senator Joseph Simitian.

 We at least have a Senator who reasons well in California.
In  praise of  Senator Joseph Simitian (D-Palo Alto)—chair of the high-speed rail committee and candidate for a Santa Clara County Supervisor seat—who voted against the project. There is at least one elected official of caliber to stand up to Gov. Brown's High Speed Train to nowhere .  Senator Simitian is a tax payer's friend .  ***The approval of the initial funds of the proposed $68 billion California High-Speed Rail, obviously have to come from Taxes , if you think hard and do your math .  It's vary costly . There will always be a budget ax someplace else. The State Spends nearly 60 billion on education and at the  same time how is it's going to juggle exactly the same amount to spend it on a high speed rail project that is costly and most of the "resources" to this project will come out side of the United States ?  There is a false belief among some lawmakers that the rail will bring jobs to California . I ask how so ? Is the state willing to pay any American a decent wage to build the high speed rail ? , or is  going to hire "day laborers " to do the job . How much enough will Chinese imported steel be used on it's tracks?  Get this it's a mere fraction of a 140 mile stretch costing 8 billion .Democratic senators said the project would create thousands of jobs and make necessary improvements to the state’s transportation infrastructure. Republicans said it is too expensive and relies on uncertain future funding.They criticized starting construction in the sparsely populated Central Valley.Among Republicans in opposition was Sen. Tony Strickland, who criticized a willingness by the Legislature to reduce spending elsewhere while finding money for high-speed rail. “I think this is a colossal fiscal train wreck for California,” he said.

 *** California owed some $265 billion in January 2011. Who knows just how many more Billions have been added to that.It is pure insanity to just keep piling on the debt like this unless the plan is to cause the state to collapse, the goal of the Cloward-Piven strategy on a national scale. It is said you have to spend money to make money. Left out is that you have to have the money before you can spend it. No one has ever borrowed their way out of debt.Thank God these fools passed the legislation, now they can waste billions of everyones money not just the billions that California tax payers don't have. This is fiscal insanity. How can a state that has a $18 Billion budget deficit spend $3 Billion on a train that will never pay for itself. They already have reasonably fast train service from the SF Bay area to the LA area, and nobody rides it. Why would they abandon the airplanes to ride a high-speed train instead. Since they are so hung up on taxpayer subsidized 19th century transportation, why don't they throw another 68 billion into developing a fleet of high-speed clipper ships?   

The proposed California High Speed Rail line would be more expensive than every other active HSR proposal in the country put together. While subsidized by everyone who pays the regressive sales tax, its users would have a higher than average income, so it is a subsidy from the poor to the rich. It would cost about $600-$1000 person or $2000-$3000 per California household before a single trip is made. This money could support about 20,000 teachers or police perpetually. For every $1 spent by the passenger, it would entail $4 in public subsidy, twice the annual expenditure of the State Transportation Improvement Program

But even $117.6 billion might not be enough. January 24, State Auditor Elaine Howle issued her audit report of the CHSRA (Fact SheetFull Report). Turns out, the business plan left out the nominal sum of $97 billion in operating and maintenance costs from 2025 to 2060. Oops. The plan says that revenues would cover all such costs starting 2022, the year trains are projected to roll on the initial section. What if revenues fall short? Is anyone going to take a diesel train from Bakersfield to Fresno? Elegantly, no operating losses are figured into the plan. And if there are losses, funding requirements would jump.

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