Businessweek provides a snapshot of California state government’s fiscal insanity:
California Governor Jerry Brown is seeking a 38,000 percent spending increase for a proposed high- speed rail system, even as he plans to raise taxes, cut state worker pay and reduce social programs to narrow a $15.7 billion deficit.
The “38,000 percent” translates into a requested budget increase from $15.9 million to $6.1 billion for construction costs of California’s fantastical high-speed rail project. The kicker: all that money builds only the first 130 miles of an estimated 800 mile route from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
A lot of internet ink has been spilt rightly decrying this total waste of taxpayer money. What I want to emphasize in this post is that Governor Brown’s budget request should anger liberals even more than conservatives.
Can it really be true that with California’s budget deficit recently surging from $9.2 billion to more than $15.7 billion that welfare and salaries must be cut and taxes raised so that someone’s bullet train dream can come true?
This is insane. If Californians – the unions included – can’t rouse themselves to kill high-speed rail for the sake of preserving food stamps and health care for the poor, the rest of the nation should wash its hands of the state and let it implode.
Ending any and all spending related to the L.A.-S.F. bullet train should be done today. It’s a no-brainer. Unfortunately, that’s also true of the folks in charge of the public fisc.