If completed at anywhere remotely near current cost figures, it will be one of the most expensive public works projects in U.S. history. Put simply, it is the definition of a boondoggle; its final cost estimate, now totaling $68.4 billion, is up over 100 percent from its $33.6 billion total cost estimate in 2008. And despite a November 2013 ruling by a Sacramento Superior Court judge that, among other things, halted the sale of over $8 billion in High-Speed Rail bonds because the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) had failed to fulfill its promises to voters under Proposition 1A, the CHSRA is assuring Californians that project construction will begin in the coming months. Beyond the obvious—how the CHSRA will proceed with no meaningful short- or long-term financial plan and no borrowing ability—many other serious issues loom large over the entire High-Speed Rail project if ground is broken and construction begins.
By Marc Steinorth @ Taxpayer Advocate and Businessman from Rancho Cucamonga