Sorry Mob, Your Rulers Have Spoken: California Senate Approves High Speed Rail–Reason Hit & Run

By Scott Shackford | July 6, 2012

Published at Reason Hit & Run

You just lack vision, Californians.

Here’s an intriguing paragraph from The Sacramento Bee’s breaking coverage that nicely illustrates why legislators would actually go against public opinion in the middle of a massive economic meltdown on an election year while asking the same public to approve a tax hike in four months:

The approval was a major legislative victory for Gov. Jerry Brown. [Senate President Pro Tem Darrell] Steinberg said the Democratic governor “talked to a couple members” ahead of the vote, while Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, reminded colleagues that the project not only had Brown’s attention, but also that of President Barack Obama and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Electorate, what electorate? Obama and Pelosi are the ones who matter.

Click here to go to article.

Richard Rider calls Prop 29 a new high speed rail

California’s high-speed rail is a massive spending boondoggle from the 2008 ballot.  Its cost nearly doubled to about $100 billion while not a single mile of track has yet been laid?

Well, if you liked high-speed rail, you’ll love Proposition 29, coming to the California ballot this June.
High speed rail, said Richard Rider, Chairman of the San Diego Tax Fighters, at a recent appearance on San Diego’s NBC affiliate, “promised in writing that it was going to operate under certain restrictions and now does not.”

That’s because special interests, with no accountability to voters or to taxpayers, hijacked the process doling out favors to political cronies and driving up the cost. It’s a reminder, Rider explained that “the idea that we should be budgeting money at the ballot box has not worked well for us.”

Like high-speed rail, Prop 29 creates an unaccountable commission packed with political appointees. The decisions this commission makes over the nearly $1 billion in annual new taxes it will administer are untouchable for 15 years, not even in cases of waste, fraud or abuse. That means that even though California schools are laying off teachers, this special interest spending commission can dole out favors as it pleases, with no strict controls over spending. The fact is Prop 29 does nothing to fix California’s $10+ billion budget deficit but does everything to make sure that the reckless spending that got California into the fiscal mess it’s in will continue unabated.

Californians have a choice this June. Hopefully they’ll come to realize that decades of unsustainable spending on questionable projects put California in the sorry state it is today. Prop 29 is just more of the same for California—something the state just can’t afford.