Due to an ongoing health crisis in the family, blogging will be 'on and off' as time and circumstances permit for the foreseeable future. I also beg your indulgence if I am slow in responding to emails. New posts will appear below this notice.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why California is a Colossal Mess

In the Navy we had an acronym for situations like the below... "FUBAR."  I won't break that down.  But it applies to California perfectly.
SACRAMENTO — Across the country, the era of ambitious public works projects seems to be over. Governments are shelving or rejecting plans for highways, railroads and big buildings under the weight of collapsing revenues and voters’ resistance.

But not California.

With a brashness and ambition that evoke a California of a generation ago, state leaders — starting with Gov. Jerry Brown — have rallied around a plan to build a 520-mile high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco, cutting the trip from a six-hour drive to a train ride of two hours and 38 minutes. And they are doing it in the face of what might seem like insurmountable political and fiscal obstacles.

The pro-train constituency has not been derailed by a state report this month that found the cost of the bullet train tripling to $98 billion for a project that would not be finished until 2033, by news that Republicans in Congress are close to eliminating federal high-speed rail financing this year, by opposition from California farmers and landowners upset about tracks tearing through their communities or by questions about how much the state or private businesses will be able to contribute.

The project has been mocked by editorial boards across the country — “Somebody please stop this train,” The Washington Post wrote — while Republicans here have denounced it as a waste. In an unfortunate turn of timing, state officials announced this month that revenues this year were so far behind projections that California was likely to have to impose $2 billion in cuts in January.
Read the rest here.

7 comments:

Matthew M said...

Not surprising at all. I think I'll be moving out of SoCal by 2015 if all goes well.
Big problem is the housing marketplace. i may have to sell my place and be lucky to break even for what was paid for it (it's a mobile home in an 'over 55 adults only' park).
The other problem is where to move to and be better off in a climate where I can live. The state might be falling apart and into the ocean, but the weather here where I am is pretty good all year around.
What to do, what to do.
Anyone have any suggestions?

David Garner said...

I think high speed rail needs to be done in this country. It probably doesn't need to start with states teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, though.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Matthew,
Anyone have any suggestions?

Costa Rica.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

David,
I completely agree.

Ingemar said...

If they want high speed rail, let the Chinese build it. They practically own this country anyway.

John said...

The hubris of California Democrats knows no bounds. The crazier ones are doing it because of the "vision thing" - they're simply smarter and more noble than the common people, who will beat their breast in repentance, kneel down en masse and earnestly thank them some day for their groovy eco-trains. (Cue rose-colored dawn with birds singing, butterflies flitting, hordes of cute little children - most of them GLBT - waving darling hand-painted banners.)

The more pragmatic ones do it because it will put cash in their pockets and get them re-elected. I can't figure out HOW, exactly. Perhaps they know that the project won't ACTUALLY be completed until at least 2050, if ever, and of course they'll have to be reelected to see it through safely, lest Bush or Cheney derail it somehow. It doesn't seem to matter though. You can comfortably EXPECT to be reelected as a Democrat - raving lunatic or traditional power/money driven - in the Golden State. (Cue *ka-CHING* sound, sleek expensive automobile and preternaturally gorgeous personal trainer.)

My wife and I moved our family to Washington State 21 years ago and have never regretted it. Matthew - Costa Rica is becoming increasingly impacted by the flow-through illegal drug trade, necessary to enhance California voters' "vision thing". Washington is gorgeous, but there are lots of Democrat escapees from California organizing small noisy parades and setting up Espresso-and-Massage-and-Hemp Clothing stands. And there are weather issues for the sunstruck. I suggest you check out SW Utah if you need a lot of sun. They need more Orthodox Christians there, anyway.

Stephen said...

John, you can't trust the political class to reduce debt or cut spending. They have no incentive to do so, in fact all their incentives are to keep spending and to keep borrowing. That's why you have to fight them on taxes.