When California finishes tapping out the taxpayers in its state to pay for its nonsensical high speed rail, it will ask the taxpayers of other states to chip in, according to a new Government Accountability Office report requested by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The GAO report found that the federal government will have to give California an astonishing $38.7 billion in order for the state to complete the idiotic project, footing more than half of the total cost.
The GAO states that it is unlikely that California will ever see that money. “Given that the [High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program] grant program has not received funding since 2010,” the GAO wrote, “and that the future funding proposals will likely be met with continued concern about the general level of federal spending, the largest block of expected money for the California project is uncertain.” Jerry Brown will just have to keep reading The Little Engine That Could during his State of the State Addresses in order to maintain the fiction that this train will ever get built. Local authorities in California claim that once bits and pieces of the rail are built, private money will flow into the project. That seems dubious.
The bottom line remains the same: the future of California High-Speed Rail relies on nearly $40 billion in additional federal funding. Apart from the questionable business plan, fluctuating cost estimates and lack of public support, the California High Speed Rail Authority’s (CHSRA) continued reliance on additional Federal spending is naïve and misguided at best. As Majority Whip, I have worked with my Republican colleagues to block spending for this boondoggle of a project, and will continue to do so. The United States Department of Transportation and the CHSRA need to wake up and realize that $40 billion in Federal spending is not going to magically get injected into this project at a time when the national has reached $16.7 trillion. The Authority’s plan is irresponsible and reckless, and that is why I am developing legislation to stop more hard-earned taxpayer dollars from being wasted on California high-speed rail.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).