Even if it is the Wall Street Journal and it's owned by Rupert Murdoch, it's still a paper that can't be ignored. And, they have come to take a clear editorial position about High-Speed Rail. They don't like it. They don't like it in California. And, they have reasons.
Someone on this paper does their homework. And yes, I'm am looking for evidence that even my fellow Democrats wake up and wise up to a disaster, which if permitted to continue, and to burn over $1 million each day, will begin to make those Democrats look very un-smart.
The California Democrats have lashed themselves to the mast of a sinking ship, a ship that is sinking due to the malevolence, greed, arrogance and incompetence of the skipper and crew.
Attention, Democrats. Cut yourselves loose. Take to the lifeboats. Or, go down with this doomed, damned 'Flying Dutchman' of a vessel!
Off the California Rails
Even West Coast liberals are doubting the high-speed train to nowhere.
Monday, May 30, 2011/ 6:14 pm ET
Even Left Coasters are beginning to grumble about the Obama Administration's ideological imperative for high-speed rail that defies all common sense.
A couple of weeks ago California's Legislative Analyst's Office issued a withering report calling the state's 500-mile high-speed rail project between Anaheim and San Francisco a fiscal crackup ready to happen. (See "California's Next Train Wreck," May 18.)
The federal Department of Transportation has offered $3 billion of stimulus funds with the catch that the state has to begin construction by 2012 and build the first segment in the Central Valley. A stand-alone segment running through a sparsely populated area couldn't operate without a huge taxpayer subsidy, but a voter-approved ballot measure explicitly prohibits any such subsidies.
At the urging of the state watchdog, the rail authority asked the feds for more flexibility about where and when to start building. Last week the Department of Transportation told them to dream on. In a letter responding to the request for more flexibility, Under Secretary for Policy Roy Kienitz ordered the authority to charge full speed ahead since "once major construction is underway and approvals to complete other sections of the line have been obtained, the private sector will have compelling reasons to invest in further construction." Private sector seems to be the Obama Administration's code for government.
Even some of the state's Democrats are protesting the Administration's mulishness. Democratic state senator Alan Lowenthal told the Los Angeles Times that "there is nothing in the letter saying the federal government would commit $17 billion to $19 billion for the project . . . If it had, we would build the Central Valley segment right now. But the state needs to be financially and fiscally responsible."
Which is why the legislature needs to kill the train now. Once this boondoggle gets out of the station, the state will be writing checks for decades.