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Jerry Brown's Railroad: Fast-Track to Financial Nightmare

Jerry Brown's Railroad: Fast-Track to Financial Nightmare

By Thursday, 03 May 2018 10:55 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif.,  had a dream. He has been a two-term governor of America’s most populous state twice. His late father, Pat, was California’s governor back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s — for two terms.

Father Pat presided over the Golden State when the school system had a sterling reputation, the state treasury was chalk full of state investor’s monies, and taxes were low. He was brought to his office on the backs of land developers who made millions for themselves and the politicians who rubber-stamped their interests.

Jerry’s father made many a Californian rich and he largely did so bringing water to the thirsty desert known as Los Angeles and the endless suburbs it created. It was known as the California Aqueduct, and emptied many a lake and river in more precipitous and less populated Northern California.

Millions upon millions of dollars were invested in the project that built a waterway hundreds of miles long. Like the Erie Canal of the early 1800’s that made western expansion possible, the California Aqueduct made the desert of Southern California an oasis for tens of millions.

Little Jerry grew up at the knee of his famous father witnessing the adoration surrounding his stint in the state capital of Sacramento. He wanted to grow up to be just like dad and have his own legacy.

Well, his father didn’t get another term once he came up against his Republican opponent Ronald Reagan in 1966. But Jerry could see that one day the Democrats would regain the upper hand from conservatives, controlling California once again and far more to the left of his father.

Pat’s son is now in the final year of his second two-term stint as governor. He will leave behind a legacy indeed. But it's a legacy that is a far cry from the glowing remembrance his father enjoys so many years after his departure.

The younger Brown’s memory as governor will most likely be dominated by the incredible boondoggle known as the high-speed rail project. The most expensive project in California history is now under the microscope of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Costs have skyrocketed on the multi-billion dollar taxpayer catastrophe as deadlines are routinely missed and budgets blown through altogether.

The massive project is the poster child of what big government and liberal politicians can do to a state’s economy faster than taxpayers can vote them out. The DOT is currently auditing Jerry’s quest to outdo his late father with this pet project billions in the red, seven years behind schedule and no plausible end in sight.

The initial idea of getting riders across the state in three hours or less is as dead as the Pony Express was when the railroad connected the country. This time the railroad is outdated by becoming too high tech and wildly expensive for its own good.

Enter Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif. He asked for a review of the Obama administration’s complicity in Jerry’s continuing failed abyss known as the "bullet train." The audit’s final report is due in the fall. Although the findings will most likely bring no surprises, it may wake up some California voters and make them think twice about "progressive" political rule.

The review of the previous administration’s oversight of federal expenditures was taken to ensure the state’s finances were viable to meet their non-federal match requirements. It would seem Jerry and his cohorts are not playing straight with their initial deal with the federal government. The proper safeguards apparently were not in place.

The Federal Railroad Administration was assigned the task of watching over nearly $3.5 billion federal grant dollars awarded to the project. Now the Department of Transportation wants to see just where all that money went. They will assess risk analysis, assessment and mitigation efforts regarding the availability of non-Federal matching funds, business plans, and financial reporting.

That will also include procedures for determining whether federal funds expended complied with applicable federal laws and regulations. In other words, how did this bullet train project, sold to the voters of California in 2008 as a $33 billion dollar venture, suddenly become a money pit approaching $98 billion and growing?

Dwight L. Schwab, Jr. is an award-winning national political and foreign affairs columnist and published author. He has spent over 35 years in the publishing industry. His long-running articles include many years at Examiner.com and currently Newsblaze.com. Dwight is an author of two highly acclaimed books, "Redistribution of Common Sense - Selected Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014" and "The Game Changer - America's Most Stunning Election in History." He is a native of Portland, Oregon, a journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, and a resident of the SF Bay Area. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Seven years behind schedule and no plausible end in sight. The massive project is the poster child of what big government and liberal politicians can do to a state’s economy faster than taxpayers can vote them out.
denham, dot, fra
Thursday, 03 May 2018 10:55 AM
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