Sacramento, Calif. — It’s hard to express how sad it was for me to watch, in person, as the state I grew up in committed fiscal suicide.
I went down to the state capitol here on Friday afternoon to watch the state senate approve, by a single vote, a $4.7 billion bond package to build a high-speed-rail system from nowhere to nowhere. If the whole system is ever built — highly doubtful — it will cost at least $68 billion and run between Los Angeles and San Francisco. But this first 130-mile segment will run from Madera to Bakersfield, a stretch that less than 3 percent of the line’s potential ridership can use.
“Where [Governor Brown], with the state going bankrupt, is even thinking about an expenditure like this is beyond comprehension,” leading California demographer Joel Kotkin told the Wall Street Journal. “When the schools are falling apart, when the roads are falling apart, the bridges are unsafe, the state economy is in free fall. We’re still doing much worse than the rest of the country, we’ve got this growing permanent welfare class, and high-speed rail is going to solve this?”