As various leftist candidates around the country are demanding Medicare for all or free college tuition for all or free basic cable for all, it’s instructive to examine the left’s ability to estimate cost and manage a project. That’s because in leftist lexicon “free” means taxpayers are footing the bill.
Currently the biggest construction infrastructure boondoggle in the country is hosted by the ground zero in socialist lunacy, the state of California.
In 2008 voters approved a bond issue for a bullet train that would, according to Fox News, “connect Californians and transform transit policies down the road.”
Ten years later no one is connected but policies are transformed, mostly because the money to do anything else in transportation is being hoovered up by the bullet train.
When the original promises were made to voters this wonder of modern transportation was going to fly between Los Angeles and San Francisco in only two hours and 40 minutes. That’s assuming of course that TSA doesn’t decide to start groping train passengers, too.
What’s more, all this speed from a mode of transportation that first saw daylight in 1804 was only going to set the taxpayer back $33 billion. When dealing with the left it’s good to keep in mind that cost is always a moving target.
As late as July of this year the LA Times was predicting a total bill more than double the initial estimate at $77 billion. Now The New York Times pegs the cost at $100 billion, which is over three times the original estimate.
That number will change, too. The project is already 11 years behind schedule, the speed at which the train travels has been reduced and the 80 miles of track in the Bay Area won’t connect with the 119 miles in the Central Valley because planners — if you can use that word — deleted a 13-mile tunnel that was designed to connect the segments.
That’s leftist stewardship of taxpayer dollars at its finest.
The same over-promising followed by cost explosions and under-delivery will be the product of Medicare for all and free college tuition for all. There are no penalties for over-spending if you are the government. No one responsible for the mistake loses their job. The politicians either raise taxes to cover the shortfall or they make punitive cutbacks designed to inflict so much pain on recalcitrant voters that they will approve of tax increases in the future.
Meanwhile, as San Diego Councilman Mark Kersey pointed out, the billions sunk into the bullet to nowhere train, “could have been invested in our current infrastructure needs, such as water storage, flood control, highways and bridges.”
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.
Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.