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December 06, 2023


Jennifer Pfaff

What a mess!


One side of the aisle is not connecting the dots.................

Golden State no more? California budget deficit balloons to $68 billion

Report: 2022‑23 revenue will be $26 billion below budget estimates

California faces a $68 billion deficit in its budget, largely as a result of a severe revenue decline in the current 2022‑23 fiscal year, the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office reported Thursday.

Tough decisions are ahead for Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers as they begin the grueling work of figuring out how to plug the chasm — without imperiling the state for years to come. Potential spending cuts to education and other programs and dipping into the state’s piggy bank of billions of dollars in reserves are likely on the way. New taxes also could be on the table.

But the state’s minority Republicans blasted Newsom and his “overspending” fellow Democrats who dominate the Legislature over the news. They said Thursday California’s budget has swelled to $311 billion thanks to “boondoggles” like high-speed rail, bailouts of failing transit systems like BART and $20 billion spent on a worsening homelessness problem.

“Governor Newsom and Democrat lawmakers turned a $100 billion surplus into a $68 billion deficit in just two years,” Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones of San Diego said in a statement Thursday.
I'm unclear on why the Merc is putting boondoggles in quotes.

Everything’s Jake

This disaster of a governor of ours is a complete idiot. High paying income tax people are leaving the state and being replaced by low wage earners. Companies are fleeing to business friendly states. The piggy bank is empty. Newsom is practically a son of big oil and has never worked an honest day in his life. He has no idea how to balance the books. What a loser!
This boondoggle may sink any chance of a presidential run. So, there’s a silver lining. Kamala will have her hands full when she assumes the reigns of governorship (you heard it here first). Then again, she is just as clueless as Newsom and Biden.


You may be right about the boondoggle affecting Newsom's ambitions but him cancelling the live Christmas tree lighting because he is afraid of protesters will follow him around. If he can't handle that how could he be commander in chief?

Peter Garrison

I’m starting a Baby Jesus Underground Movement involving the secreting of Infant Jesus figures within all secular Christmas displays.

Elf on a Shelf and Frosty the Snowman will not prevail.

Jesus is the reason for the season…


The gaslighting continues unabated. Two more Comicle "reporters"- Michael Cabanatuan and Danielle Echeverria dutifully rehash (regurg?) the nonsense fed to them:

President Joe Biden on Friday touted the billions of dollars his administration recently committed to passenger rail projects, including a little more than $3 billion for California’s slow-moving high-speed rail project in the San Joaquin Valley.

Biden said he’s long supported the California project — even restoring cuts implemented during the Trump administration — and said he would continue his backing.

“Folks, we’re just getting started now.”
Amtrack Joe thinks year 16 is "just getting started now".

House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, Central Valley Rep. Jim Costa and former California Gov. Jerry Brown each emphasized how the project is necessary not only to reach California’s climate goals, but to catch California — and the rest of the U.S. — up with places such as Europe and Asia, where high-speed rails are widespread.

But Brown added that the billions won’t be enough to achieve the ultimate goal — linking the Central Valley to economic centers like the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

“We’re going to spend billions more. That’s what it takes,” he said. “You want to be No. 1 in the world? You gotta spend big bucks.”
The billions (meaning the $3.1B; is a joke when the total price tag is zooming past $125B--don't believe the $100B the rookie journalists quote.
The $3 billion investment, he said, was a “first step” in that goal.
No, the $9B from the original Proposition was the first step and there have been many missteps since.
“We’re not going away,” Pelosi added. “This is going to happen. … We have to have high-speed rail.”
Oh Dear Lord, please go away.



The ultimate money pit - Callifornia High Speed Rail.

No money for more cops, firefighters or nurses- but plenty for the train to nowhere


The Wall Street Journal has an eye on our slow-moving taxpayer disaster called CA HSR. Most of it we already know, but here is the latest snippet of commentary:

In 2019 newly inaugurated Gov. Gavin Newsom declared that because of construction complications and cost overruns, the train would initially travel only down a 171-mile segment between Merced (a 130-mile drive from San Francisco) and Bakersfield (110 miles from Los Angeles). That segment was to cost $22.8 billion.

Then the California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Committee dropped another bomb: The San Francisco to Los Angeles phase would take another 15 to 20 years to build, would cost three times as much as projected, and would be unable to meet legally mandated trip times.

In legislative testimony, Louis S. Thompson, chairman of the Peer Review Committee, put the Phase I funding gap at $93 billion to $103 billion. He also noted there is at least an $8 billion increase that hasn’t been counted in the Southern California segment. “Even with a realistic share of new federal funding,” he said, “the project cannot get outside the Central Valley without added state or local funding.” The Legislative Analyst’s Office agreed.
That $93-103 funding gap JUST ON PHASE I is news even to someone like me who follows this closely. How much longer can the charade go on??

Peter Garrison

I don’t understand this or the border policy.

Paloma Ave

What border policy?


The Comicle reporter Ricardo Cano is trying to describe the insanity of the high-cost rail project--he just can't bring himself to say it flat out:

California’s high-speed rail project has teased residents with recent renderings of how its futuristic trains and massive stations would look. But, despite recent progress and the excitement those renderings have produced, the project remains about $7 billion short of the cost to complete the initial segment from Merced to Bakersfield.

The rail project also needs about $100 billion to make the original vision of linking San Francisco and Los Angeles via bullet trains a reality. And some of the project’s watchdogs say state leaders need to decide soon whether to commit to the entire project — or abandon it.

Officials from the state’s High-Speed Rail Authority shared the project’s latest cost projections during legislative hearings in Sacramento last week, when they also briefed lawmakers on the status of the project.

The project’s two Northern California segments connecting the Central Valley to San Francisco have both reached environmental clearance. Authority officials say they’re trying to secure more funding to complete geotechnical studies in the Pacheco Pass segment between Merced and San Jose, a precursor to construction.
LOL Good luck with that study
It’s unclear how, when and if the high-speed rail project will acquire the funding required to complete the Bay-to-L.A. system initially sold to California voters in 2008. Kelly, who in January announced plans to retire, told lawmakers it would likely take funding “not just from the federal and state (governments), but probably local and regional partners, as well,” to complete the envisioned system.

Louis Thompson, chairman of the project’s Peer Review Group, said the costs face “considerable risk” in rising further, “because most of the project remains at an early design stage or less, and there is no experience to date with major elements of the project.”



In a textbook case of deliberate Greenwashing, our High-Cost Rail Authority has released this Earth Day missive:

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: California’s electrified high-speed rail project continues to lead the nation as one of the greenest transportation projects under construction in the country. In 2024, the project celebrates Earth Day by elevating innovative elements of world-class station design that promote sustainability and enrich the community.
Unfortunately, they know (because UC Berkeley figured it out years ago) that the system will NEVER recoup the CO2 emissions savings that are going into it's construction.........


The high-speed bleeding continues out in the Central Valley even as Newsom "struggles" with a $28B deficit and decides to cut all sorts of other programs. Nobody seems to take notice--HSR is just a fact of life to the press. WSJ columnist Andy Kessler took notice this week by including our little boondoggle in his litany of failed government projects. His list: the Gaza pier, $7.5B of pork spending that installed eight (8!) EV charging stations, Newsom's homeless spending pit, Obamacare (family premiums up 63% inflation +36%), etc etc.

Kessler writes:

In 2008 Californians voted for about $10 billion in bonds for high-speed rail connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles—the first payment of a then-estimated $33 billion budget for the 800-mile stretch. So far, only a 1,600-foot Fresno River Viaduct has been built, along with a hodgepodge of guideways and structures. Only 42,000 years to go. Oh, and the estimated cost has risen to around $130 billion.
We are about due for another cost "estimate". I'm betting it crests $150B. Come November, it will be 16 years since the disastrous vote for HSR......

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