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As we noted the estimated cost to build California’s bullet train from San Francisco to Los Angeles has doubled to $77.3 billion and could almost triple to $98.1 billion. Governor Jerry Brown is now on record what he thinks of it. “This is bullshit,” he told reporters in Sacramento on March 19. “I’m so tired of all the nonsense that I read in the paper and you hear from other politicians.” The governor did not explain which figures were “nonsense” or whether he believed the train’s cost were too high. On the other hand, he did seem to know where the money was. “I’ll tell you how we’re going to fund the railroad,” the governor said. “We’re going to take back the Congress and then a Democratic Congress is going to put the high-speed rail in the infrastructure bill and then we’ll get that trillion dollars and we’ll put America back to work.”
Few if any California taxpayers are panting for a train that will be slower and more expensive than air travel. Brown also wants some $16 billion to dig a massive tunnel under the San Joaquin-Sacramento River delta. Yet, the governor opposes a $1.3 billion project to expand Shasta Dam, citing environmental impacts and flood risk. The water tunnel and bullet train would wield far greater environmental impact, but that is of no concern to a tax-and-spend hereditary governor in search of a legacy. If the state’s embattled taxpayers were to say they are “tired of all the nonsense” from this guy it would be hard to blame them. As for his quest to “put America back to work,” taxpayers might recall that Jerry Brown ran for President of the United States in 1976, 1980 and 1992 and failed all three times.