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Trump’s Transportation Secretary halts funding for California’s bullet train

Trump’s Transportation Secretary halts funding for California’s bullet train

Brown gets run over by the Trump Train on the journey to Karma.

http://www.hsr.ca.gov/Newsroom/Multimedia/images.html

The last time we checked in on the construction of California Governor Jerry Brown’s legacy project, the high speed train connecting Los Angeles to San Fransisco, it was already already $3.6 billion over budget and seven years behind schedule.

In that piece, I a surmised that federal funding to help complete this project could be axed, as several pricey grants were sitting on the desks of administrators now working for President Trump (who has been defied and mocked by numerous California politicos, including our governor).

Sure enough, the Secretary of Transportation has halted the transfer of millions of dollars in funding for the bullet train:

In the first big hit to the Bay Area from the Trump administration, newly minted Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has put the brakes on $647 million for Caltrain to go electric — and in the process pretty much killed hopes for high-speed rail coming to San Francisco anytime soon.

…In a Jan. 24 letter to Chao, all 14 Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation called for the Caltrain money to be put on hold until a full audit is done on high-speed rail. On Friday, Chao obliged — the Federal Transit Administration, which she oversees, said a decision on the $647 million federal grant needed to keep the project going would be delayed.

In response, Brown is now rethinking his earlier, independent stance and is requesting that Trump administration release the monies to the state.

Gov. Jerry Brown has asked the Trump administration to reverse itself on a key decision to withhold a $647-million grant for a state passenger rail project, a request that comes two weeks after other California Democrats waded into the fray.

….Obviously, what has happened is a huge curve ball,” said Jim Earp, a longtime supporter of the high-speed rail project and a member of the California Transportation Commission. “I hope calmer head prevail and the funding goes through.”

It hasn’t helped the state’s case that there is not a single Republican in the Bay Area whose district might benefit from the grant.

Chao’s decision in mid-February was sharply criticized by many of California’s Democrats, including Sen. Diane Feinstein and Sen. Kamala Harris. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said the Transportation Department was holding the project hostage in an effort to attack the bullet train. The Caltrain goes through her district.

Their protests appeared to have had no effect, and whether they were even heard is unclear.

In a handwritten note on the one-page letter that Brown sent this week, he wrote, “Can we discuss this on the phone?”

Brown’s office declined to say why he asked for the phone call, as opposed to having his staff set up such a call with Chao.

I will simply point out that if California can’t build the bullet train using our own money, then how was the state going to pay for a satellite to monitor climate change such as the one proposed by Brown in his epic, post-election rant against the President?

It appears that Governor Brown has just been hit by the Trump Train on its stop in Sacramento during its journey through Karma.

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Comments

Close The Fed | March 4, 2017 at 10:46 am

California seems incapable of bringing in this project even with unlimited funds and no deadline.

Great thing not to increase our deficit with a project incapable of being finished.

    MattMusson in reply to Close The Fed. | March 4, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Think of how many Community Organizers and political spouses will now have to find real jobs. They will no longer be getting those high dollar ‘advisory’ positions for doing nothing.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to MattMusson. | March 4, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      What you mean? You mean “Fraudster” doesn’t count as a “real job?”

      Oh no you didn’t Leslie! LOL
      RE: “Brown gets run over by the Trump Train…..

    Eddie Baby in reply to Close The Fed. | March 4, 2017 at 11:31 am

    California could barely build half a bridge nowadays. They are too busy stealing taxpayer money to be bothered to provide goods and services to the public.

    Old0311 in reply to Close The Fed. | March 4, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    But, how will the “new” Californians travel north to the utopia called San Francisco? Who will do the lawns and work the restaurants? Damn those Deplorables for electing a man who understands a budget. Suck it Jerry!

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Old0311. | March 5, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      Los Nuevos Californios were never going to get a ticket for a trip on that train in the sky. Too expensive. Only the wealthy and state officials issued a free pass were going to ride. Juan, Bobby Joe and Dontavious were going to have to walk.

    nraendowment in reply to Close The Fed. | March 5, 2017 at 12:48 am

    I live in Yuba City, about 40 miles north of Sacratomato. We’re happy here to see that parasitic waste of tax money choked to death in the crib. Now maybe our Marxist overlords can find a little loose money to repair frivolous things like the Oroville dam.

… maybe they can apply to the clinton foundation for a grant as they certainly might qualify as a nation in need…

“In a handwritten note on the one-page letter that Brown sent this week, he wrote, “Can we discuss this on the phone?”

“We’re sorry Mr. Brown, but President Trump’s ass is otherwise engaged this week. But you can kiss it anytime you want – not that it will do you much good.”s

Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Wonderful to wake up in now sunny California and be greeted by this excellent news.
I hope this is just the beginning of the Trump administration stopping the flow of federal funds to renegade states and cities.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Rick. | March 4, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    Rick, that will be a key part in Trump helping U.S. to drain all the local swamps – at the state and city level.

    Those local swamps are just as vile and corrupt as the D.C. one.

Leslie Eastman: I will simply point out that if California can’t build the bullet train using our own money, then how was the state going to pay for a satellite to monitor climate change such as the one proposed by Brown in his epic, post-election rant against the President?

The cost of the high-speed rail project is about $70 billion. The cost to build and launch a satellite is about $0.5 billion, or about 1/100th of the cost.

For comparison California’s annual GDP is about $2500 billion.

    When you include the cost of launch pad, support personnel, and other aspects, the cost rises from there.

    Furthermore, California has a budget deficit of $1.6 billion, so we can’t even afford launch a paper airplane. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-jerry-brown-budget-trump-risks-20170110-story.html

    But keep on trolling, Zachriel. You at least entertain the troops.

      Leslie Eastman: When you include the cost of launch pad, support personnel, and other aspects, the cost rises from there.

      Half-a-billion dollars will do for most satellite projects. They can probably defray some of the costs by finding international partners.

      Leslie Eastman: Furthermore, California has a budget deficit of $1.6 billion, so we can’t even afford launch a paper airplane.

      That’s only 0.06% of GDP, so is simply a matter of budgeting and priorities.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Zachriel. | March 4, 2017 at 12:24 pm

        You’re missing the point. A half-billion for a satellite is a substantial portion of the $657 million being withheld by the federal government. It’s about priorities. If you have $500 million for a satellite (whether or not you’re already running a deficit) and you need $657 million for a rail project, you have a decision to make – which is more important/which will return more value to the taxpayer? Households make decisions like this about their budgets all the time. Why can’t government? (And by “government,” I’m not just referring to California.)

          DaveGinOly: If you have $500 million for a satellite (whether or not you’re already running a deficit) and you need $657 million for a rail project, you have a decision to make –

          The $657 million is just one federal payment of a larger investment. Nor has California yet to fund a satellite for climate science.

          gospace in reply to DaveGinOly. | March 4, 2017 at 12:48 pm

          The $657 million is just one federal payment of a larger investment. Nor has California yet to fund a satellite for climate science.

          In my world, an investment is something you eventually expect a positive return on. There will never be a positive return on the California high speed boondoggle, hence, it isn’t an investment.

          Look at it another way. If it were an investment, they could sell bonds that WEREN’T guaranteed by government, and investors would flock to buy them. And note they’re not considering that avenue.

          gospace: In my world, an investment is something you eventually expect a positive return on.

          High-speed rail is expected to increase commerce in California, as well as providing a greener mode of intercity transportation.

          gospace: If it were an investment, they could sell bonds that WEREN’T guaranteed by government, and investors would flock to buy them.

          No, because the benefit is diffused throughout the economy.

        nraendowment in reply to Zachriel. | March 5, 2017 at 1:06 am

        California’s priorities consist of throwing taxpayer money at unions, illegal aliens and bureaucrats.

      OFF-TOPIC

      Leslie Eastman: But keep on trolling, Zachriel.

      If you mean that we disagree with your position, then, yes. Our comments related directly to your point about the difference between affording high-speed rail and affording a a scientific satellite. The costs are different by a full two orders of magnitude.

    Patricia in reply to Zachriel. | March 5, 2017 at 10:59 am

    So much for Jerry Brown’s avowed resistance to Trump, lol. One week after his rant, he begs, “Dad, can I have some money? I broke the dam.”

    Trump was right: the sanctuary states will fold like cheap suits.

    (I keep hitting the wrong button. I’m not down voting you!)

This train is the dumbest projects ever, and anybody who voted for it should lose their right to vote.

    Old0311 in reply to Eddie Baby. | March 4, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I hope that Trump cuts so much funding from California that members of the California legislature has to send their daughters to Oceanside to sell it to Pfc. Shoo. Not that they don’t already.

I knew California went completely off the rails when they approved this boondoggle. California voters used to reject these kinds of money grabs before 2008.

    ConradCA in reply to Eddie Baby. | March 4, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    The advocates of this boondoggle lied to the voters when the initiative was passed. They only asked for $12 billion to fund it and they were suppose to have a plan in place to fund it.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to ConradCA. | March 5, 2017 at 6:23 pm

      Most people knew there wasn’t gonna be any bullet train built in CA for a stinkin’, measly $12B. The useful idiots voted for a pie in the sky knowingly. Let the fools there pay more taxes so the wealthy and the political class can ride in style swiftly and comfortably.

smalltownoklahoman | March 4, 2017 at 11:38 am

Good, the less of OUR money wasted on liberal pipe dreams the better!

Little by little, California politicians will learn who won the election. Their near catastrophe at Oroville showed how unreal Democrat priorities are. If Brown wants to go ahead with climate change and the medium speed train it will be with California dollars. Meanwhile, they will come to understand that they may not obstruct federal immigration law.

Big electoral losses for local Democrats are on the horizon, even in California.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Virgo. | March 5, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    It wasn’t just Oroville dam. Brown went begging hat-in-hand to Trump for $ for flood disaster in SoCal just a couple weeks after he ranted about Trump, declaring CA a sanctuary state, and how they don’t need any stinkin’ money or help from the feds, etc., yada yada, blah blah.

funny using a KCS train as pic as they now lean anti-trump due to them being dependent on nafta.
that just caught my eye.

Dear Gov. Brown.
The last time we sent you a pile of money to fix a dam, you used it to fix a dam that didn’t need fixing and let the dam that did need fixing crumble. Now you want us to send you money for a train that won’t be carrying any passengers.

Yeah. Right. We’ll send you that money just as soon as we’re done with the ‘audit’ of the project. Don’t wait up.
Sincerely,
DJT

These high speed rail projects are simply boondoggles designed to funnel OPM into the pockets of a few politically connected people. Nothing more.

Passenger rail travel, other than intra-city commuter systems, it not economically feasible. It is not self supporting and requires continual subsidies from taxpayers.

High speed rail systems are only efficient, and then only barely efficient, if they cover long distances without intermediate stops and run between large metropolitan areas which have efficient mass transit systems. For this type of service, the US uses commercial airlines. Train service requires a large infrastructure of miles and miles of track, roadbeds, grade crossings and their safety equipment, and terminus points, which include terminals and staging and holding yards. Plus, as most of these rail services are run by the government, the vehicles used [the trains – engines and cars] are owned and maintained by the government. Airlines are privately own, for the most part, and need only an airport at each end of the trip to provide service.

Regular passenger rail service is slow, usually slower than comparable automobile travel over distances over 100 miles. It also requires some type of efficient public transportation at, at least, one end of the route to feed passengers to their ultimate destination. And, even with such secondary transportation, it is far slower and usually as expensive, or more expensive, than flying.

So, any type of cost effective inter-city passenger rail is doomed from the start. Avoid it if possible and dump it as soon as possible if has already begun.

    AmandaFitz in reply to Mac45. | March 4, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. There’s a high speed rail line proposed between Houston and Dallas and it’s an idiotic idea. Ridership will be low, just like the ridership of the “rail” line in downtown Houston- the only time that stupid rail line is used is for things like the Rodeo, the Super Bowl or other special events- otherwise, it’s almost empty. Instead of improving traffic flow or fixing the streets, we do STUPID things because some leftist “thinks” it’s a good idea- rather than knowing whether something will work or not or whether it will IMPROVE things.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to AmandaFitz. | March 5, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      Driving our own cars on our own schedule is just part of American culture and our heritage. The freedom of it is part of the American spirit. Buses, trolleys and trains are fine for somemetro areas but not long distances. We want the open road – or the wings of a 747.

      Freedom. 🙂

    Another Ed in reply to Mac45. | March 5, 2017 at 2:23 am

    That Federal money that California was spending became available when Florida’s Governor Rick Scott rejected it in 2011, disappointing many politicians in the central portion of Florida who worked hard to keep Disney and other tourist attractions happy. Florida’s tourist trade should be a net gain for the citizens of Florida, not a net loss.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/gov-rick-scott-rejects-funding-for-high-speed-rail/1151937

LibraryGryffon | March 4, 2017 at 12:18 pm

That money is three times the estimates I’m seeing for fixing the Oroville dam. I bet Washington is thinking of some much more important infrastructure projects than a high speed train to almost no where.

Weren’t folks assuring us just a few weeks back that the State of California was perfectly financially able to function as an independent country? Seems like everything they’ve done since then has proven otherwise.

Politics aside, this is NOT a Democrat or Republican issue.

7 years behind schedule and 3.6 billion over budget, this is downright criminal malfeasance. They are STEALING the money!
Instead of an audit, we should be looking at a CRIMINAL investigation.

    LibraryGryffon in reply to Exiliado. | March 4, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Sounds like a forensic accountant’s dream job, working on those books, doesn’t it?

      openeyes in reply to LibraryGryffon. | March 5, 2017 at 8:21 am

      I doubt they were sophisticated enough to require a forensic accountant-these fraudsters despise the rest of the country and don’t believe they will ever be held to account.

      A second year accounting intern could probably figure it out.

Wasn’t it just three weeks ago that CA liberals were telling us about the feasibility of seceding from the Union and how CA can go it alone?

Thank God! What a disgraceful money pit foisted on taxpayers who’s heated objections were roundly ignored and swept under the rug like so much garbage.

I watched one of the community meetings on this debacle and most everyone was strongly objecting to it while those running the meeting reacted as though noone was objecting at all, refusing to address any concerns and just steamrolling over the citizens. It was disgusting to witness.

Brown failed to execute and his bluff was called by a fiscally responsible administration.

This boondoggle makes the Big Dig an on budget and on time project.

So! California has the fifth largest economy in the world, right? California wants to secede, right? California doesn’t need the rest of us, right? So, how come they are having a hissy fit over a paltry $647 million? Love it! Cheese with that “whine!”

I just got back from a quick trip to California. FIX THE DANG ROADS! Yes, I’m shouting! The roads are a freaking, pothole filled mess. And I saw some of the worst driving I have ever seen anywhere. I left the place in 2011. Looks like it wasn’t a moment too soon.

healthguyfsu | March 4, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Can someone explain to me why a train residing entirely within this state that won’t cross any borders is worthy of federal funding in the first place? Seems like a no-brainer state project. That mega large, independent economy they are always bragging about should be able to take care of this no problemo.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 5, 2017 at 3:48 am

    As I understand it, this was a infrastructure project under the Obama “Stimulus” legislation. So, of course a lot of graft had to go to CA, since Pelosi was Speaker, and Feinstein and Boxer were powerful Senators (didn’t Feinstein’s husband get a big piece of the action?).

Maybe, just to be climatologically (spell check went nuts on that) pure, maybe the citizens should put a ballot proposal onto the next election making it mandatory that the winners of all offices will have to walk from their district to the capitol.
Outlaw the use of any kind of global polluting conveyance to them. Might cut down on some of the nonsense Cali libtards come up with, or at least slow down how many they can put up before having to walk back home.

The Friendly Grizzly | March 4, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Dear Governor Brown:

Drop dead.

-signed- The other 49 states.

Hurrah!!

Winning, winning, winning.

BTW I knew an attorney for the railroad that the State was negotiating with for rights, and he said all the State really wanted was the $3 billion in federal funds to start the project.

DDsModernLife | March 5, 2017 at 11:31 am

As if on cue, AP/Yahoo says California’s high-speed train to nirvana is ready to leave the station if it wasn’t for that mean, ol’ Republican Congress:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/california-high-speed-rail-ready-lay-track-235623150.html?.tsrc=fauxdal

Well it’s about time someone stood up to the nut jobs in Sacramento!

Way over budget. Whoever bid this job should be held accountable. Typical California style.

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