Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bill Lockyer, California State Treasurer: Interview on High-Speed Rail

Bill Lockyer, California State Treasurer, talks about the high-speed rail bonds.  He's still being cautious, but has said previously that he has no confidence in the rail authority's plans and therefore the Proposition 1A bond issue won't sell.

Most of the state's outstanding bonds are approaching junk bond status.  Nonetheless, being a Democrat, Lockyer still believes in the "vision" of high-speed rail.  He does not recognize the vast discrepancy between the vision, as it has been sold to the California voters, and reality.  The CHSRA has been hiding that reality as much as it can, but that's become almost a hopeless task.

And that's why they are now in so much trouble.  As they used to say about Bill Clinton, it's not the crime, it's the cover-up.  The Rail Authority has been covering up all the harsh realities of this project. See their so-called business plans as prima facie evidence of that.

The fact that the Rail Authority can't (or won't) put together a plausible business plan should be a clue. Why can't they?  Because they recognize that if they used complete and legitimate numbers as Lockyer is asking for, this project would not pencil out.  That has already been demonstrated by William Grindley and a whole battalion of financial experts.

Many Democrats are in favor of the "vision." But that's political talk, like being in favor of the future. And, they are in favor of the federal government sending funding to their respective states, regardless of the reason.  But, when reality sinks in and it's time to plan hardware, rolling stock and construction, rail corridors, stations, terrain challenges, urban challenges and the like. . . and then the costs; those incredible costs, then it's time to re-examine your commitment to that vision.  Bill Lockyer has yet to do that.  So have most other Democrats.