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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Adults Are Aware

Don't be misled. In spite of what you might note in ongoing media reports regarding high-speed rail in California, there are actual thoughtful adults in Sacramento who understand the very serious stakes involved in this ultra-expensive project. Many of these people, because of their affiliation with the Democratic Party, are reluctant to voice their true beliefs about the high-speed train and its ever-escalating costs. But they know. Some have even gone public with their doubts. Local Assemblyman Jerry Hill is one; he has expressed deep reservations about high-speed rail. State Treasurer Bill Lockyer is another; he has made it clear that HSR is not going to fly financially. And that's the bottom line. No matter how you care to parse the situation, this project would be prohibitively expensive, both to build and, just as importantly, to sustain on an annual basis. It would be a drain on the state that would hamstring its tattered fiscal condition even more dramatically than it already is. Every objective analysis has concluded that HSR is unsustainable, that it's a huge mistake. Debating the merits and demerits of allowing high-speed trains to utilize the Peninsula's Caltrain corridor is pointless. Why? Because HSR is a monetary black hole, a fiscal catastrophe in the making. In the long run, Caltrain would be better off severing ties with the high-speed project and seeking its own solutions for system upgrades.

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