What the Proposition 1A purports to do …

  • Provides long-distance commuters with a safe, convenient, affordable, and reliable alternative to driving and high gas prices.

There is no proof that long-distance commuters will use this rail system any more than they currently use the Amtrak rail system for long commutes. This assumption is based on surveys and if these surveys are wrong, the project will become a permanently subsidized rail operation.

  • Reduces traffic congestion on the state’s highways and at the state’s airports.

The number of passengers carried on a rail system would be less than the number of cars that commute daily on California’s freeways, especially the I-405, I-5, I-1o and I-134. I would rather the money be spent on widening the freeways and eliminating that social engineering experiment called the diamond lane.

  • Reduces California’s dependence on foreign oil.

The amount of energy saved would be negligible compared with the overall amount of energy consumed by idling cars on packed freeways.

  • Reduces air pollution and global warming greenhouse gases.

Based on projected ridership.

  • Establishes a clean, efficient 220 MPH transportation system.

The current level of engineering and roadway planning may not support these speeds.

  • Improves existing passenger rail lines serving the state’s major population centers.

Perhaps we should spend more money on upgrading existing roadway.

  • Provides for California’s growing population.

Yada, Yada … most of the current projection on a growing population indicates it may come from illegal aliens.

  • Provides for a bond issue of $9.95 billion to establish high-speed train service linking Southern California counties, the Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Has anybody noticed that most rail traffic is driven by vacation destinations and that short-haul routes obviates the benefits of shorter “commuter runs?”

  • Provides that at least 90% of these bond funds shall be spent for specific construction projects, with private and public matching funds required, including, but not limited to, federal funds, funds from revenue bonds, and local funds.

Can you spell waste, fraud, graft and mismanagement.

  • Requires that use of all bond funds is subject to independent audits.

Big deal. All State projects are independently audited and waste, fraud, mismanagement and graft abounds.

  • Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay bond principal and interest.

The source of all State funds remains the citizens of California and the money that is rebated to the state from federal sources.

Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

  • State costs of about $19.4 billion, assuming 30 years to pay off both principal ($9.95 billion) and interest ($9.5 billion) costs of the bonds. Payments of about $647 million per year.
  • When constructed, additional unknown costs, probably in excess of $1 billion a year, to operate and maintain a high-speed train system. The costs would be at least partially, and potentially fully, offset by passenger fare revenues, depending on ridership.

First, state-managed construction costs are historically wildly underestimated.  And second, there is no guarantee that the ridership will ever pay for this system and it promises to be a subsidy to infinity.

The problem …

The very same politicians and far-left political system that spent us into a $16 BILLION deficit plans to manage the States own railroad? This is crazy. There is no evidence that this rail line will every be built or if it is, that the costs would not balloon to $100 BILLION. This is a project backed by the trade unions who demand that the project be built with union contractors at an inflated price.

Example of political malfeasance?

They took the public’s money that was allocated for capital equipment and purchased busses and trains … and then sold them to investors who leased them back. Thus we converted money that needed to be used to purchase capital equipment into money that could be spent on their wild-eyed social engineering projects.

According to published reports …

MTA Faces Financial Dilemma Due to AIG Demise

“Nearly 1.5 million people who ride buses and trains in Los Angeles County might face major service cuts from the Metropolitan Transportation Agency, which faces a financial dilemma after one of its major lenders fell victim to the nationwide economic crisis.”

“MTA officials said their deals to lease trains and buses from investors is in jeopardy because American International Group Inc. -- which loaned the agency $1 billion to finance the transactions -- recently ran short of cash and nearly collapsed. Now MTA must find another lender or pay back hundreds of millions of dollars to investors to keep all its commuter services running.”

“ ‘With the current state of the markets, there are no people who are willing to provide a replacement for AIG at any price.’
Matsumoto said the agency's board has not discussed possible cuts, but a loss of $100 million would equal about 10 percent of the MTA's bus service.”

Trying to tap into the financial industry bailout honey pot … 

“Transit officials have met with congressional staffers and asked the federal Treasury Department for help, hoping to get some of the $700 billion bailout package that is earmarked to buy troubled assets.”

Financial engineering or something more malevolent?

“Between the late 1980s and 2003, the MTA sold its buses, rail equipment and facilities to investors such as Wells Fargo & Co. and Comerica Inc. to raise money. The investors then leased them back to MTA, with AIG providing the money to finance the deals. AIG, in return for fees paid by the transit agency, also guaranteed that the lease payments to investors would be made on time.”

More public money is to cover up the stupidity of the politicians and their transit managers …

“The company's near collapse and the subsequent federal bailout slashed its credit ratings, which triggered a clause in the lease-back agreements that requires the MTA to reimburse investors $100 to $300 million for their down payments and lost tax benefits, or find a new firm to guarantee the deals.”

“Metrolink and other large transit agencies in San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C., have entered into similar transactions.
Metrolink, a commuter rail agency in Southern California, also sold most of its train cars and locomotives in four lease-back deals -- three of which involved AIG -- and made a $35.5-million profit, said spokesman Francisco Oaxaca. Metrolink, like MTA, must find a replacement for AIG.”

Bottom line …

There is no guarantee that this new public money would not be used to bailout private investors and confer special privileges on special interests with political connections.

Bottom line – do we want to trust this crowd with additional millions when they have proven that they can’t even manage the current system? I think not.

Therefore I urge a NO vote on Proposition 1A!

What can YOU do?

Vote NO on Proposition 1A to keep the public’s hard-earned money out the hands of the politicians and their special interests until they clean up the present financial mess.

Do not buy into their claims that this would provide more jobs and help the economy. The truth is most of the money initially received would be spent over years on plans and purchases of roadway. All subject to waste, mismanagement and fraud.

Considering the recent disatrous train crash between a passenger train and a freight train, perhaps the money should be spent on upgrading California's rail system.

Now is clearly not the time to vote for this boondoggle proposition. VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 1A!

-- steve

Quote of the day: “The difference between a criminal stealing your money and a politician stealing your money is that the politician uses lawyers to produce a ream of paper telling everybody who could even read the document that it is not theft when a public official holds a gun to your head to extract taxes.” -- steve

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

MyFox Los Angeles | MTA Faces Financial Dilemma Due to AIG Demise


From the California Secretary of State:

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"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

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