Commentary by L. J. Martin: California has just passed a multi-billion dollar bill to fund a bullet train. Califorinia, already bankrupt, has 37 million population now and can use a bullet train. However, the wisdom of building a transportation system when the state is already broke? And building it between Bakersfield and Madera? The only riders for such a train will be farm workers, and odds are they won’t be able to afford the ride…certainly not if the multi-billions are to be repaid. Of course, when in the last 50 years has California worried about repayment? A train between Merced and San Francisco, or Merced and Los Angeles would make some sense–not much, but some.
I will note that I was a young man when the current governor’s father was governor, Edmund G. “Pat” Brown. Then governor Brown pushed through what would now be an equally expensive California Water Project. That project eventually created, or precipitated (to risk a pun) millions and billions of dollars in agricultural production. A transportation system will not do the same thing. Is Jerry Brown desperately trying to leave a legacy as did his father? If so, he should have conceived a project that would make money, not merely cost money.