Tag Archives: High Speed Rail

WTF – High Speed Rail to Nowhere

Construction nears completion on Phase I of the Dulles rail project

Winning The Future, anyone remember that one? That was President Obama’s scheme to rebuild the American economy on among other things, high speed rail.

In his 2011 State of the Union address he said, “This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. … The third step in winning the future is rebuilding America. To attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information — from high-speed rail to high-speed Internet.”

President Obama assured us that we would connect 80 percent of Americans to high-speed rail within 25 years.

Governors like Rick Scott of Florida and Scott Walker of Wisconsin saw this for the boondoggle it was and refused the government money for high speed rail.

California, however, never a state to pass up an opportunity to waste taxpayer dollars, signed on to the project right away, receiving 3.5 billion dollars from the federal government, and borrowing another 10 billion dollars in a bond issue. The money is to build a high speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The estimated cost for the project is 68 billion dollars. Since Congress cut off 2012 funds for such projects, California is the only U.S. state working to lay tracks for 220 mph trains. The project remains about $54 billion short of what is required for completion

Public support among Californians is waning, however. A recent USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found that 59 percent would now oppose the rail project given another chance to vote even though it was previously approved by a 53% majority.

Even with a budget deficit of 15.7 billion dollars, Governor Jerry Brown seems undeterred. He has allocated some of the 9.95 billion dollars in bond issues for the rail project in fiscal year 2012, while he asks voters to increase sales and income taxes and cut the school year by three weeks.

California’s High Speed Folly

Your Tax Dollars!

More news of the stimulus’s failure emerged this week with CBO’s report citing how it may have cost $4.1 million per job, but the story that should be on everyone’s minds concerning the Obama’s agenda is California’s high speed rail project.  Calls for a high speed rail system by the Obama administration have been enhanced given China’s successful completion of their system last summer.  However, if you look at the current California project, the scale of failure is epical and our tax dollars are being poured into it.

In a rare instance, CNN gave a rather insightful report on how this proposed high speed rail is actually three times more than its estimated cost. The railroad project itself seemed sound.  A line from Los Angeles to San Francisco spanning 2oo miles was a palatable initiative for Californians, which is why they voted for a $10 billion dollar bond measure back in 2008.  However, the original estimate was in the ball park of about $34 billion dollars. It is now  projected to cost a monstrous $198 billion dollars.  Additionally, Drew Griffin, CNN Investigative Correspondent, reported that not a single rail has been laid in the four years since the initiative was passed.

This marks another stinging failure of the domestic agenda of the Obama administration.  First clean energy, now high speed rail networks.  It fits nicely into the description George Will aptly made about American liberalism on Charlie Rose last August as”an amalgamation of appetites of parochial interests.”   The project is now revised under the new Chairman of California’s Railway Authority, Dan Richard, but it’s very different original high speed blueprint. Griffin stated:

It turns out, the latest plan could be for a much slower train, not actually the high- speed futuristic cartoon California voters approved four years ago. More of a hybrid that goes slower, makes a few more stops and doesn’t quite deliver the L.A. to San Francisco promise of just a few hours.

And that’s not the half of it. This is about to become really political. California’s high-speed rail has one huge backer — President Barack Obama — and that is where you come in. The administration has pledged $3.5 billion in stimulus money, also known as federal tax dollars, and that’s just so far. Now, California admits it will need even more, tens of billions of dollars more from federal taxpayers to finish it.

But first, you have to start. And that’s where it really gets dicey. The foundational segment, the first stretch of track, will cost at least $6 billion alone and, under the new plan, will connect Fresno to Burbank. It won’t go anywhere near San Francisco. And in the process, will dissect generations-old dairy farms, nut orchards and towns that don’t want it.

That’s not the worst of it.  Apparently, Barack Obama, who continues to be a staunch proponent of this project:

 has pledged $3.5 billion in stimulus money, also known as federal tax dollars, and that’s just so far. Now, California admits it will need even more, tens of billions of dollars more from federal taxpayers to finish it.

But first, you have to start. And that’s where it really gets dicey. The foundational segment, the first stretch of track, will cost at least $6 billion alone and, under the new plan, will connect Fresno to Burbank. It won’t go anywhere near San Francisco. And in the process, will dissect generations-old dairy farms, nut orchards and towns that don’t want it.

However, even with the inflated costs and objections by local farmers, Dan Richard and the rest at the Railroad Authority aren’t giving up.  After all, as Griffin reported, “they’ve already got the promised $3 billion of your tax dollars in federal stimulus. California may not get another dime from President Obama, but it has no intention of giving back the $3 billion already promised or the billions more from California voters.”  This Rube Goldberg project is expected to take ten years to finish.  Who’s lining up to get their first ticket?

California’s ‘Boondoggle’ Report – I mean High Speed Rail Report

The term “Boondoggle” may be used to refer to protracted government or corporate projects involving large numbers of people and usually heavy expenditure, where at some point, the key operators, having realized that the project will never work, are still reluctant to bring this to the attention of their superiors.

Generally there is an aspect of “going through the motions” – for example, continuing to waste money on High-Speed Rail – as long as funds are available.

Obama’s inspiring vision of a nation crisscrossed by bullet trains, providing cleaner, safer and cheaper competition to airlines and reducing reliance on gas-guzzling automobiles, is in serious jeopardy as a new Republican majority in the House looks to slash his funding plans. In this environment, California is a test case for whether high-speed trains can succeed in the U.S. — and so far, the state is failing the test.

California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office forecasts a state budget deficit of $25.4 billion that the Legislature needs to plug before the next fiscal year begins. The LAO’s gloomy budget outlook is blamed in part on a $6 billion shortfall in the current fiscal year. California faces a $20 billion a year deficit through 2015-2016.

Seems California is in serious economic trouble, but yet they want to continue with Obama’s “Boondoggle” called high-speed rail?

Viewpoints: Case for high-speed rail grows only stronger. The last time many Californians thought about high-speed rail was in the voting booth. On that day, Nov. 4, 2008, more than 6 million voted to tell the state to get going, to build high-speed rail in California. Now, 2 ½ years later, the second guessing is in full swing. In recent weeks some have suggested that the project – High Speed Rail – be put on hold.

Most people I talk to have said this about high-speed rail – this is something the country ‘wants’ now, but it can’t afford it at the moment. The backers of high-speed rail are now using the “high Gas, cleaner environment issues” to their advantage – claiming that these HSR trains are cleaner and people will decide to pay to ride the train – instead of grid-locking the interstates with automobiles.

This of course is all speculation, because no where in the United States do we have an actual HSR service. The Legislative Analyst’s Office published a report calling for at least a ‘temporary halt’ to the project. The report alluded to a number of concerns about the project:

  • The amount and timing of future federal funding are unclear.
  • Spending state funds on rail will mean there is less money for other things.
  • We do not yet know how much private investment the system can attract, or when it will come.
  • Starting construction in the Central Valley is a “gamble.”

These “concerns” would make me cautious of this project too.

  1. They have no clue when or even if they will receive more federal funding.
  2. California is in real debt trouble – wasting states money on HSR – means less money for projects that are really needed.
  3. There is a “hint” of interest from private investments – but they have not seen any money from them yet – nor have the private investors 100% committed to investing.
  4. To qualify for the federal funds, planners had to agree to break ground by 2012. Federal officials deemed that the only segment that would be ready for construction so quickly was in the ‘sparsely’ populated Central Valley. As a result, the bulk of the $3.5 billion kicked in by the Obama administration must be spent on a train running between the tiny towns of Borden and Corcoran. Ridership on this initial segment would be slight, making it impossible to operate the train without taxpayer subsidies. Yet under the terms of Proposition 1A, the state can’t issue bonds to pay for the project unless it has been demonstrated to be self-sufficient. What’s more, if federal and other funds for further construction dry up, California could end up with an expensive train to nowhere.

So I can see why the Legislative Analyst’s Office has their concerns. I have my concerns as well, since I am helping to pay for it. California has a huge debt problem, my main concern is that Obama will want to help “bail” them out of debt forcing taxpayers to pay for California’s problems. Then we as taxpayers are obligated to pay for all these HSR Boondoggles too!

The train’s biggest problems can be laid at the feet of the California High Speed Rail Authority, which is overseeing its construction. Inexperienced board members appointed by the governor and Legislature on the basis of political patronage rather than expertise have made a host of poor decisions. The poor planning shows as the board plans to take a circuitous route from Los Angeles to Bakersfield by veering through Palmdale and Lancaster. This would add 30 miles to the trip plus $1 billion in construction costs, and make it all but impossible for the train to meet its promised travel time of 2 hours and 40 minutes from L.A. to San Francisco. Compared with the more direct route along Interstate 5 through the Grapevine.

This country is in a real debt crisis with unemployment way up, high gas prices, higher food prices and such. Why are we allowing Obama to “gamble” with his HSR dream? This is something the country would like to have but it doesn’t necessarily need it at the moment. We need to get our priorities straight spend our money wisely on things we already have but are in severe need of improving. Instead of “gambling” away at projects most of us already know – won’t succeed.

 

 

High-Speed Rail Rip-off in Liberal La-La Land

Source: Getty Images
     Pictured at left is Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. This is the man who tried to help force the high-speed rail boondoggle onto the citizens of Florida after we voted down a tax for it, and our Governor, Rick Scott turned down the Federal funds dangled in front of  him for this scam. Governor Scott sited bloated ridership projections and a slew of Liberal math based revenues, and low-ball cost projections as his reason for turning down the high-speed rail plan. Governor Scott, you see actually has decades of business budgeting in his background, and saw through the fluffy false data that was presented to him when he reviewed the project. Florida will no longer be on the hook in the future for billions of dollars in waste, fraud, and abuse inherent in these projects, and we owe Governor Scott a debt of gratitude for his strong protection of the Florida taxpayers in this debacle.
    For the sceptics that want proof of the above statements, we have to look no further than the recently exposed high-speed-rail scam recently uncovered in California. This is what happens when you elect unqualified Liberals to positions of power, as they have been doing in California for decades. Oh yes it’s real cool man, as we see Governor Jerry Brown try to deal with a $25 billion dollar shortfall this year. Already on the chopping block there is the closing of a slew of State Parks to try to save money.  I can’t imagine the folks in Liberal La-La land going without their State parks.  As far as California goes, they got sucked right into the high-speed rail scheme, and now they are going to pay for it big time !  Adam B Summers, a policy analyst at The Reason Foundation laid it all out nicely in an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune recently. In it he stated:

Voters narrowly approved issuing $9.95 billion in bonds, with expectations that the federal government and private investors would cover the rest. But after the election, cost estimates rose to $43 billion for the Los Angeles-San Francisco project alone.

Also, the one-way fare between the two cities was predicted to be $55, making it cheaper than flying. But after the election, ticket price estimates rose to $105, observes Adam B. Summers, a policy analyst at the Reason Foundation.

“Like most large public infrastructure projects, the California high-speed rail project was sold to the public based on false promises, exaggerated benefits and low-ball cost estimates,” Summers writes in an opinion piece for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

He points out that ridership estimates are projected as high as 117 million passengers per year. Yet the entire Amtrak system, which includes more than 500 destinations and 21,000 miles of track, serves just 27 million passengers a year. (emphasis mine)

     The actual cost is over 400% of the original projections,  ( lies ) the ridership projections are so inflated that it is almost beyond comprehension, as in Amtrak serving 27 million riders a year while the scheming politicians and fraudsters had the people of California believing that this high-speed rail project would have 117 million riders a year. WOW.  Where the hell did Californians think all these riders would come from?  False promises, exaggerated revenue projections and benefits and low-ball cost estimates, and the people of California bought it up like $10 dollar Gucci handbags at a flea market!  Right there we see every reason Governor Scott turned down this rail scheme, and he is proven to be 100% correct, and yet we still have some morons down here in Florida, ( The St Pete Times to name the biggest one ) crying about his decision. Amazing.

Mr Summers also pointed out the insanity of this boondoggle was exposed as early as 2008, yet the corruto-crats and the California media puppets of the Liberal machine kept the truth from the people:

Summers notes that a September 2008 study published by the Reason Foundation and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association found that the actual cost of the high-speed rail system would be at least $65 billion and perhaps as high as $81 billion, and that “the project was not viable because it was based on wildly optimistic assumptions.”

Governors in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin have recently canceled plans for high-speed rail projects in their states. Summers urges that California, which is running deficits of up to $25 billion a year, “should follow their example and put a stop to this boondoggle before it becomes yet another budgetary black hole for the state.”

Thank you Governor Scott and the other Governors that have protected the taxpayers by refusing this Liberal high-speed rail scheme that is being promoted by most of the lame media puppets across America today. I hereby issue a challenge to ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox to report this information on the high-0speed rail rip-off that now hangs over the California taxpayers heads for decades to come, all simply because of media manipulation, malpractice and flat out lies. What say you MSM ?

Mafia-Style Stealth Taxation Without Representation: Meet the VMT

   CBO issues report saying that a new Vehicle Mileage Tax, (VMT) is needed to increase funding for our transportation infastructure to offset a shortage of highway maintenance funding. 

      The picture to the left reminds me of a snapshot taken during the shooting of the Godfather movie, where all the made men are getting their marching orders from the Don. The shot exudes arrogance and a total lack of Presidential decorum, let alone a total disrespect for the historic desk The Chosen One has his Marxist feet propped up on. People rightfully say we should respect our President today, yet when I see things like this, I give the person behind the situation exactly what it calls out for: Disrespect. Contempt. Disgust. Ridicule. Exposure. If the shoe fits, wear it Mr. President. Respect is earned in my world, no matter what third world country comes before America when discussing your hyphenated heritage,  such as *African-American*.

      The VMT report has to have an origin, or as in the Godfather, someone had to give the order for such a report to be made, calling for more stealth taxation being hoisted upon the backs of American taxpayers. The simplistic puppet Ray Lahood, the Transportation Secretary, surely didn’t cook this rehash of an old money grab scheme up all by himself here. No, in fact this VMT scheme has the Marxist DNA of the Supreme Community Organiser in Chief  drenched all over it. This is big government intrusion to the tenth degree folks, not to mention it is simply more taxation without representation. They want to track your vehicle every time you get into it, and to make is so expensive to drive your vehicle that everyone moves into the urban jungles that Obama loves to do his community organising in. This isn’t about economics, as the Don has ordered the CBO to use as a basis for this *report*. This report is more propaganda than it is actual statistics being used for a reality-based report. This *report* is simply another attempt at trying to “nudge” the dumbed-down sheep up in D.C., and the American public, to enhance the power and scope of big daddy government.

    Transportation funding is tight right now according to Kent Conrad, the big spending, more taxation Democrat from North Dakota. who also happens to be the Senate Budget Committee Chairman. By the way Mr. Conrad, how is out budget resolution for 2011 coming along?  Seems to me you could use some lessons in prioritising your work schedule and your actual duties in our Senate, instead of just working on ways to tax the people more. You see, while the current group of eco-friendly green energy fraudsters are trying to force everyone to drive electric cars, they forgot to figure in the loss of revenue that will be incurred from the decrease in gas-tax revenue. Oh what a tangled web we weave.  Conrad himself said this in an article here. 

Conrad said in response that federal funds are tight, and in asking for recommendations on how to raise that money, he noted the possibility of a VMT tax as a way to solve the problem of collecting less in taxes as people move to more fuel-efficient vehicles.

“Do we do gas tax?” Conrad asked. “Do we move to some kind of an assessment that is based on how many miles vehicles go, so that we capture revenue from those who are going to be using the roads who aren’t going to be paying any gas tax, or very little, with hybrids and electric cars?”

      We can’t actually have Americans saving the money we promised then they would save when we pushed them to drive electric cars can we ? No, we have to find another way to tax them,  thus the VMT scheme. If transportation funds are so tight, explain to the people why Ray LaHood, on marching orders from Don Obama tried to cram the high-speed rail down the throats of Floridians recently? When Governor Scott asked if he could use that Federal tax money, which belongs to the people by the way, not D.C. Tyrants, to fix existing roadways and/or bridges, he was told emphatically, NO! Oh what a tangled web we weave.

    So, transportation funds are tight, yet instead of using existing funding to shore up our roadways, Don Obama is ordering Capo LaHood to use that transportation cash to push for high-speed rail boondoggles that will be an endless drain on taxpayer’s wallets for decades to come. High speed rail is not applicable to over 95% of America due to a little thing called population density. One way to “nudge” the people to live in the urban jungles that I call the over-populated ghettos of the inner-city, is to charge them for every single mile they drive, thus the VMT scheme. I also note that not one single government “expert” has had the guts to discuss whether the heavy gas tax would be done away with completely if this VMT scheme was to be implemented. The fact is, the government has a pattern of  calling  for an implementation period at the very least, where most people will be double-taxed to drive their vehicles. From the same article above here is the proof of that statement.

CBO’s report stressed it was making no recommendations but seemed to support a VMT tax as a more accurate way of having drivers pay for the costs of highway maintenance. The report said miles driven is a larger factor in highway repairs than fuel consumption and suggested that having drivers pay for the real costs of highways “would involve imposing a combination of fuel taxes and per-mile charges.

 Notice the double taxation there being called a combination?  No recommendations are being made by the CBO ?  Then why the info-mercial report calling for the VMT ? As the Don said many times in the Godfather, “Just find a way to get it done without it being tracked back to me.”

    Watch our for this VMT tax raise to come up in Congress very soon folks, as Don Obama sees it as a way to raise taxes that can’t be traced back to him. call  and write your Representatives proactively, and tell them to stop this scheme before it steamrolls over us completely. Ask then

 

 

FLORIDA NEWS FLASH!

  The Supreme court of Florida has ruled today, that Governor Rick Scott is within his authority to deny the federal funds for the high speed rail project from Tampa to Orlando!  The rule of law and the Florida Constitution give our Governor the right to protect the taxpayers from special interest boondoggles exactly like this scheme!

   Thank you Governor Scott for doing what we elected you to do in making the tough choices to reign in spending  and balancing the Florida budget.

    As soon as the court’s decision was announced, Scott telephoned U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood and said Florida was formally rejecting the funds. You can bet your bottom dollar the Feds are not happy with their scheme to try to regain Democratic power in Florida through the use of federal taxpayer funds. That is all this scheme was trying to do and it failed bigtime! Thank you again Governor!

Florida Rail Project Decision Due Today


The two people pictured at the left here are State Senator Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa) and State Senator Thad Altman (R-Melborne). Fore those of you not familar with Florida, Melbourne is on the far side of Eastern Florida, which is nowhere near the path of this High Speed Rail scheme.  I,d like to hear Mr. Altman’s explanation as to why he saw himself as needing to join a Tampa-Orlando rail dispute here. He sure does balance out the picture there doesn’t he? The perfect stage prop and puppet. This isn’t any of your business Altman so butt out. As far as Joyner is concerned, lets take a look at her wealth of experience that makes her such an expert on this project that she can threaten a lawsuit against our duly elected Governor, shall we? In her Florida State legislature bio* , we see once again a Democrat posing as a “lawyer” with zero credible experience at actually being a lawyer. All fluff and no substance as they say. From http://myfloridahouse.gov/ we see the truth :

Biographical Information
Occupation: Attorney; Public School Teacher, 1964-1965
Education: •Florida A&M University College of Law, J.D., 1968
•Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, B.S., Political Science, 1964

Born: February 3, 1943 in Lakeland, Florida
Religious Affiliation: African Methodist Episcopal
Recreation: Reading, traveling

1 year of working experience, then a bunch of apointments and fluffy awards, as we can see here:

Other Public Service
•University Community Hospital Trustee, 1986-Present
•National Labor Caucus, Executive Committee, 2004
•Hillsborough Head Start Community Foundation Board, Inc., Board of Directors, 2002
•Federal Aviation Authority Management Advisory Council, 2000-2001
•Florida A&M University Foundation, Board of Directors, 1996-2000
•Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, 1991-1999
•Tampa Bay Partnership, Policy Board, 1993-1999
•U.S. Delegation United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, China, 1995
•Governor’s Commission on African-American Affairs, 1993-1994
•Hillsborough County Overall Economic Development Committee, 1992-1994
•Tampa Economic Development Board, Board of Directors, 1992-1994
•U.S. Delegation World Population and Development Conference, Cairo, Egypt, 1994
•Clinton-Gore Administration, Justice-Civil Rights Transition Cluster, Senior Advisory Council, 1993
•Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Board of Governors, Executive Committee, Minority Economic Development Council, 1990-1993
•Florida Supreme Court Racial and Ethnic Bias Commission, 1990-1991
•Governor’s Commission on Government for the People, 1991
•Bay Area Legal Services, Board of Directors, 1977-1986, 1990
•City of Tampa General Employees Pension Fund, Board of Trustees, 1988-1990
•Hillsborough County Partners in Progress Committee, 1989
•Travelers Aid Society, Inc., Board of Directors, 1980-1988
•Governor’s Task Force on the Black Family, 1986
•Helping Hand Day Nursery, Board of Directors, 1978-1986
•Hillsborough County Charter Review Board, 1985-1986
•State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Committee, 1984-1986
•Hillsborough Community Housing Resource Board, 1984-1985
•Criminal Justice Planning Council of Hillsborough County, Charter Member, 1974-1984
•Hillsborough County School Board, Citizen Advisory Committee, 1983-1984
•Florida Probation & Parole Qualifications Selection Committee, 1977
•YWCA, Board of Directors, 1976-1977
•Hillsborough County Nursing Home Ombudsman Committee, 1975
•Tampa Urban League, Board of Directors, 1975
•Legal Assistant to Representative Joe Lang Kershaw, Florida House of Representatives, 1969

That certainly looks impressive, unless you ask yourself one small question: “Has this woman ever accomplished anything in the real working world that would have us believe she understands the logistics of this high speed rail plan?”How about any engineering, accounting or business degrees? Take a good close look, this Congresswoman hasn’t accomplished anything along those lines in her life. She didn’t even prove herself to be an accomplished or experienced successful lawyer at any point in her life. All those fluffy awards above point to one thing and only one thing: Another fake lawyer/career politician has been injected into Florida Congress through the Democratic Party once again. What right does she have threatening a bogus lawsuit against our duly elected Governor Scott for doing what we elected him to do? ZERO She needs to be ousted in the 2012 elections, just for her part in this madness and ignorance.

Butt out Joyner, this trickery and phony bluff of a lawsuit is not only a disgusting display of ignorance on your part, it is also unwanted by over 95% of the people here in Tampa that I have interviewed about it. When people are told the truth, they see the the power grab being done by career politicians trying to enhance their reelection chances here, plain and simple.

The Governor is acting on his mandated authority to create a balanced budget plan, which is in the Florida Constitution. maybe you should go back to law school and study up, then you wouldn’t look so ignorant here with this phony lawsuit. No taxes will be levied on the people of Florida without the Governor’s signature. What part of that doesn’t the esteemed lawyer not understand?  No businessman in his right mind will ever sign on to take billions of dollars in losses and agree to pay the operating costs of thisRail scheme for decades to come, so yes it would involve tax dollars being sucked out of Floridians wallets eventually, thus Governor Scott’s decision. I stand behind the Governor’s decision, whether you approve or not.  I do this because as I have stated before, Iwill put Rick Scott’s business experience and budgetary knowledge up against all the fake law degrees you career politicians can print up when it comes to the Florida budget plan and this trojan horse tax being sold as an economic boom for Floridians. Clear enough?

Stay tuned folks, as today at 9am there is supposed to be a “ruling” from some more politically connected judges down here in Florida on the viability of this phony threatened lawsuit. In the end, as I have outlined above, the lawsuit has no merit whatsoever! The only problem with that is today we see more and more self-important Judges making unlawful decisions based on political ideology or Party affiliation. Will we see this fluff-lawsuit put to rest today, as the Rule of law and the Florida Constitution mandate, or will wee see another politically motivated injustice hoisted onto the backs of the Florida taxpayers?

Related information: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150093382352687 This is from a Senate Budget Committee hearing, which exposes just how out of touch our government is today regarding spending our tax dollars.

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, submitted the following statement at today’s hearing to consider the Department of Transportation’s FY 2012 budget request, which increases spending by 62 percent and assumes $435 billion in additional, unexplained revenue:

“Thank you, Secretary LaHood, for joining us today as we examine the president’s budget and his request for a stunning 62-percent increase in transportation funding.

“And now this budget will further undermine America’s infrastructure by using foreign loans to pay for costly and unnecessary projects—such as high speed rail—while the Highway Trust Fund remains empty.” (emphasis mine)

 

* http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/s018

Florida Politics: The Week in Review

This past week Governor Rick Scott reviewed a proposal once again to go ahead with the Tampa to Orlando High Speed Rail Plan, and once again he turned it down. There are some troubling aspects coming to light here in this situation that demands Floridans get involved and start asking questions. First of all, just what was in this latest proposal that made it unacceptable to the Governor’s office? Protecting the taxpayers is an admirable agenda, but a little more transparency is needed here if Governor Scott wants to earn the trust of Floridians today. I would like some details and will be calling the Governor’s office Monday morning to see if I can get an explanation on why this latest plan was turned down. In trying to research this situation today, I did come across some troubling hints at stealth attempts at what seem like somehow putting taxpayers on the hook for this plan.

Things just do not add up here. This will be Amtrak2,and it will lose taxpayer’s money year, after year, after year. Every single one of these projects end up costing billions more than mathematically challenged tyrants like Sen. Nelson and Rep. Castor “project” they will cost, when they start them. I will put Governor Scott’s business and budgeting experience up against the whole Democratic party of Florida’s experience any time. Rick Scott has decades of business and budgeting experience. Nelson, Castor, and the rest of the State Democrats in Florida? ZERO. The Democrats trying to undermine the Governor today do have him beaten in one category: They are champions at being career, self serving politicians, who have accomplished nothing more in life, than living off of taxpayer dollars.

Meet the Florida career politician that is pushing this high speed rail boondoggle onto the people of Florida, even though they voted it down in 2010:

Kathy Castor went from being an assistant legal council, for “Community affairs,” to serving on the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners for a few years. She was also the daughter of career politicians/ lawyers. Her father was a judge who also served on the Board of Commissioners down here. I have outlined how Democrats with de-facto fake law degrees end up in the Democratic Party time after time in prior articles. This pattern has been well proven. Castor is one of these “lawyers” who never tried a real case in court. From day one she was groomed to be a career politician. She also shows us the other way these types of Democrats slither into office. That usually involves a person dying or moving up in the career taxpayer sucking categories of career politicians.  Jim Davis left his seat in Congress to run for Governor, Castor won the Dem. primary with Daddy’s help, and that of pretty much every media outlet in Florida singing her praises. And alas, she won her seat by a 70-30% margin, due to Republicans not wanting to put up a solid candidate and any money against her, as they knew she had the media behind her and they were giving her “Free Press” at every turn. Sound familiar? Castor has a nasty hidden agenda , which is evident by her refusal to answer questions from the people of Florida about their tax dollars in this situation, thus she needs to be kicked out of office in 2012. We can’t help Governor Scott fix Florida with these kinds of people trying to circumvent his decisions to enhance their Union-Crony power base for future elections. Take a good look at Kathy Castor’s face there. Sure looks like the face of a career politician to me. I can’t wait to see her forced to actually work for a living in 2012, when the people of Florida say they have had enough of these elitists ignoring them, while trying to force higher taxes onto them.

Following Florida Governor Rick Scott’s decision to scuttle the proposed High Speed Rail (HSR) project, Congressman Allen West has come out in support of the Governor’s decision to kill the project. LTC West said , ” I don’t see a need for High Speed rail here in the state Florida.” LTC West further described this rail plan that, since 41 of 44 Amtrack lines lose money, “it’s a train to nowhere.” That is exactly why this writer is calling it Amtrak 2.0

I reported earlier here at CDN on  Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood telling, what I consider to be tall tales, when he said he had received letters from politicians in New York stating that they would take the High Speed Rail money Florida had turned down. We were being bullied with the statement that we have to take this money now, or they will give it to someone else today. Well guess what?  They didn’t give the money to N.Y. The Feds want to get their hooks into Florida with this cockamamie high speed rail plan. We do not have the population density to ensure even mediocre revenue from ridership, period. What part of that do the Tampa Tyrants and Sen Bill Nelson not understand here? We said no at the polls last Nov,  and our duly elected Governor backed us up.  New York is billions and billions of dollars in the red this year, and the last thing we want to do is to turn Florida into New York.

Governor Rick Scott’s upcoming budget cuts are sure to rile up the big spending Democrats of Florida and even some irresponsible RINO-Republicans who don’t seem to care if we go bankrupt in the near future. This will be a huge topic of discussion and I will be keeping our readers informed of any important developments in regular news articles. If you would like a preview of the nastiness we can expect in the very near future about the needed budget cuts, see my latest article here at CDN on the corrupt felon, impeached Federal Judge-turned Congressman Alcee Hastings. This man represents  exactly what is wrong in our government today. Unbelievable .

Rep. Kathy Castor even deemed herself important enough to call a press conference last week saying that they will be giving their new high speed rail  “plan” to Governor Scott. The problem, is that Castor just doesn’t seem to understand that she works for the people, and thus needs to be targeted  for termination in 2012 for this stunt. She also acts like an elitist tyrant in not returning phone calls or emails.I got the runaround on 3 different occasions from her office last week. If she had valid statements about  her “plan” then she wouldn’t be afraid of answering questions from the very people who pay her salary. The fact is, Kathy Castor could care less what the people of Florida want. The people of Florida deserve answers on how their tax dollars are being spent, whether Ms. Castor likes it or not. Ditto for Sen. Bill Nelson. No High Speed Rail for Florida at this time, it is simply a luxury can not afford.

Senator Marco Rubio traveled around the state last week meeting and talking with the people of Florida on today’s issues. He explained how the lawsuit against Obamacare is moving forward and how the government doesn’t create jobs, the private sector creates job.  Senator Rubio does not support any continuing resolution to fund our government temporarily unless it includes major cuts in spending. I agree with this, and as I have stated before, the DC politicians are enabling more irresponsible spending every day they don’t have a firm budget resolution. Senator Rubio will be fighting for Florida and all of America in trying to force spending cuts in any budget bills going through the U.S. Senate. The problem lies within the big spending Liberal Democratic Party and Harry Reid, who control the U.S. Senate today. They seem more determined than ever to bankrupt America and pile massive debt onto future generations of our children. While Senator Rubio is only one man against a massive big spending political machine up in D.C. , he truly gives us some hope for, “Winning the future of America.” Unlike Barack Obama, Senator Rubio has firm plans on just how we need to go about securing our future. Those include reigning in irresponsible spending, de-funding Obamacare, and cutting back to a truer form of limited government to open up private sector job creation. I am honored to have Senator Rubio representing the State of Florida in our nation’s capitol.

I will now be writing updated Florida politics articles on a weekly basis here at CDN, and will also keep Floridians informed of any breaking developments as they happen. If you have any information you would like to share, or any questions drop them into the comment section below and I will reply to them on a daily basis. These are uncertain times in Florida and America today, and an informed voting public is crucial to restoring American Liberty and Propserity for future generations of Americans.  Thank you for visiting CDN and our new Florida politics week in review column.

Upcoming event notice: Hernando County GOP Chairman and RPOF Assitant Treasurer Blaise Ingoglia is bringing his widely popular “Government Gone Wild” seminar to South Florida.  Ingoglia will be showcasing his seminar at the Miami-Dade GOP on March 3rd and to the Southwest Broward Republican Organization (SWBRO) in Pembroke Pines on March 7th. Government Gone Wild! is dedicated to educating every citizen of the dangers of Big Government while motivating people to get off their couch and get involved. Please view the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZELqO18Bxo

Florida Politics: A Storm is Brewing

      I would like to start out my, “This Week in Florida Politics” article here, by saying thank you to my State Representative Rachel Bergen. (fl-56) I had written to every politician in the State of Florida expressing my concerns stemming from the attempt to illegally bypass Governor Scott’s decision to put the breaks on the High Speed Rail plan from Tampa to Orlando. Rep. Bergen surprised me today with a phone call to address my concerns. Sure was comforting to see our elected officials responding to the very people they are supposed to represent today. Thank you again Ms. Bergen  We discussed a couple of issues today,  mainly talking about the Rail plan. She is in agreement with Governor Scott, (and myself)  that in these uncertain economic times this is just too much to put onto the backs of Florida taxpayers. We discussed Senator Bill Nelson telling the country that he will meet with Ray LaHood , the U. S. Secretary of Transportation, and a few lawyers to see what they can do to get around our Governor’s decision. Feds or no Feds, lawyers and other assorted Florida politicians and crony-capitalists looking for payback for promises they made to get elected will not be putting this kind of debt onto Floridians, period. I can not give you a quote from my Senator Bill Nelson, as they are apparently way to important to talk to the little people who pay their salaries. Nelson also doesn’t respond to correspondence from us little people. I can’t count the number of times he and his staff have ignored my letters. Likewise with Cathy Castor, another one of my so-called representatives who are scheming against the will of the people to put us into debt for decades with this rail plan. Castor is also heavily backed by assorted Unions as almost all Democrats are today, as we see by the stats below from OpenSecrets.org.  Special thanks to those folks for keeping track of interesting data like this. As dear old Gramps always said, “Follow the Money, Daniel.”

              2009 – 2010 Campaign Cash- Industries*

Industry Total Indivs PACs
Lawyers/Law Firms $113,060 $82,775 $30,285
Health Professionals $76,700 $21,700 $55,000
Building Trade Unions $34,000 $0 $34,000
Hospitals/Nursing Homes $33,830 $18,330 $15,500
Public Sector Unions $32,000 $0 $32,000

         2009- 2010  Top 5 Contributers*

Contributor Total Indivs PACs
American Hospital Assn $11,680 $1,680 $10,000
American Assn for Justice $10,000 $0 $10,000
Florida Police Benevolent Assn $10,000 $0 $10,000
Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $10,000 $0 $10,000
Laborers Union $10,000 $0 $10,000

    Those are a lot of  favors owed by Ms. Castor there, and if she thinks she can pay them off with a multi-billion dollar rail plan, no matter the cost to the taxpayers of Florida, she’s got another thing coming. Yes sir, I see a big storm brewing in the near future for the Florida region. Ms. Castor is so sure she will be able to pay off future donors with this Rail plan, that she even held a press conference today. Just like in Wisconsin, Castor’s “press conference” was even attended by nasty Democratic operatives with signs such as “Impeach Scott, and other types of ugliness. Impeach Scott, for doing what we elected him to do? I don’t think so . Grow up people. You are an embarrassment to the  true meaning of a grassroots movement and Democracy. Yes Sir, a big storm is surely brewing in Central Florida. If you want to know what other area politicians are behind this scheme, you don’t have to look far.  Also at this pep rally against the people of Florida , were what they call “candidates.” TBO.com explains it like this:

“Castor and several candidates for the mayor and city council supporting high-speed rail were present. Opponents, in the minority of those attending the rally, mingled among those who favor it.” (emphasis mine)

    Let me get this straight here. TBO.com deems it important enough to point out that the opponents at this unannounced press conference were in the minority. Mr. Ted Jackovics of the Tampa Tribune, shows his lack of any hint of the ability to write  an unbiased report right there, not to mention his lack of journalistic integrity he shows in pushing one agenda or the other here in Tampa, time after time after time. FYI Ted, the only people showing up there were people paid by them to show support for this scheme or the privileged few who were called ahead of time. Otherwise, just how did they happen to show up with those nasty hate-signs? I saw no announcement of this press conference. I for one, am sick of reading this shameful misinformation from our supposed reporters today. Do you think there might have been some opponents to the plan show up, if this had been announced?

      Of course there would have been, we voted no just last year on this scheme, and I would be one of the people telling you where to stuff your fantasy here. I call it a fantasy, because no businessman in his right mind thinks this will not be a big black hole sucking down taxpayers dollars for decades to come. Castor, Bill Nelson, Mayor Iorio and assorted corrupto-crats are trying to convince us otherwise with another phony “plan” announced today. This was at the same press conference where they made very vague statements that do not prove anything to me about how this rail plan is supposed to make money in the end. Of course if you listen to the fantasies of Sen.  Bill Nelson, Rep.Cathy Castor and other assorted Liberal elitists, Obamacare will insure millions of people for free, lower the national debt and give Seniors better healthcare by taking 500 billion dollars of funding away from them. This is a nasty shell game these Florida/Tampa corrupto-crats are playing to try to cement future campaign donations for the 2012 elections and beyond. Yes Siree, there’s a storm brewing down here in Florida.. Here is another tidbit from TBO.com today:

“Our goal over the next day or two will be to put a written proposal in front of Gov. Scott that he can review,” she said. ” •Put the proposal before Scott to assure him that a private company that wins a bid to build and operate the system would be responsible for any possible construction cost overruns, revenue shortfalls, or financial obligations for repayments of federal grants should the project at any point fail; and last but not least is a good one: ‘Private firms have indicated they would make up the difference between the federal grant and the ultimate cost of construction, as well operate the high-speed rail line with revenue that would not involve government subsidies.”

     First of all we demand to know a few particulars here Ms. Castor, like just which ” private firms” are involved here? Exactly who will be in charge of  project oversight after they get their foot in the door for this project?  How many of these jobs will actually be given to Floridians ? How about your vaunted “transparency” the Democrats like to preach about today?  Sure seems to be a lot of secret deals going on here already, and the people of Florida need to demand some answers before this even gets started. How about a scheduled set of meetings from Tampa to Orlando to hear what the real people think about this deal before you submit your “Plan” to Governor Scott? Will it be deemed a criminal offense to give any jobs for this project to the Democrats friends for votes, Illegal Immigrants?  The fact is, that the people have already told you they don’t want this high speed rail. Your initial projected numbers about the financial viability of this project were already proven to be a bunch of hot air. I say once they get their foot in the door with this misguided bait and switch,  that it will be just like Amtrak. Remember Amtrak?  That was private at one time too. Today?  Billions of taxpayer dollars are being stolen to prop up that so-called “private venture,” that has also been plagued with fraud, corruption, and malfeasance. And Amtrak runs up and down the heavily populated Northeast, unlike sparsely populated Central Florida. 

     My take on this whole scheme? If the people do not speak up, and Governor Scott believes this Amtrak2 plan for Florida, we will be facing a state sales tax within 2 years here in Florida. They may call it something else, but one way or the other these big spending Democrats and their corrupto-crat pals have one agenda today: Tax the working folks as much as they can, any way they can, as has been proven throughout American history. Here is a telling question for all the Democrats and others involved in this rail scheme: ” With Democrats constantly screaming for the rich businessman to pay more in taxes today, just what businessmen are lined up with your plan here? How can these Democrats climb into bed with these evil capitalists that they bash every single day today? Are we supposed to believe that these anonymous business firms here are willing to lose billions of dollars just to snuggle up to this bunch of  Tampa politicians? Oh wait, since Senator Bill Nelson is wheeling and dealing on this deal up in Washington DC, which lobbyists is he in bed with up there, and what have they been promised?  Talk about strange bed-fellows teaming up for the high-speed rail love affair here. Every businessman I have ever met, is in business to make money. Where did you find these people who are supposedly all lined up to be happily taxed more, and are willing to take the heavy losses that are sure to come with this plan?

     We are being told here today folks, that whether we want this high speed rail running through the heart of Florida or not, the corrupto-crats are going to do it anyway. I sure hope Governor Scott doesn’t fall for the Amtrak2 bait and switch of these mathematically challenged politicians from here in Tampa. I am betting that the Businessman we elected as Governor, Rick Scott will see through this gimmickry. As in the picture above, the clouds are rolling in here, over Central Florida. Next up? Governor Scott’s budget cuts. Is that thunder I hear?

Florida’s Rick Scott Pulls The Plug On High Speed Rail.

Florida’s new Governor, Rick Scott turned down the Feds offer of  $432 million of Obama’s “winning the future” stimulus funds this week, as announced during the unveiling of his state budget proposal. Governor referred to the project as a recipe for disaster, while facing down the Obama administration as being “addicted to spending.” Florida has followed Wisconsin and Ohio Republican Governors in refusing to accept federal funds that would lead to bloated, expensive additions to deficits that are already at historic highs. Governor Scott was elected to get spending under control, and he appears determined to do just that, with the help of a Republican majority in the Florida House and Senate. That luxury also leaves Scott without any wiggle room, or excuses for not making the cuts necessary to repair Florida’s sluggish economy. His common sense approach is quite refreshing in his latest statements on the cancellation of the high speed rail project.

“I was elected to get Floridians back to work and to change the way government does business in our state.” And Governor Scott explained exactly why he turned down the federal funds; “Capital cost overruns that could put Florida taxpayers on the hook for an additional $3 billion,” “overly optimistic” ridership and revenue projections, and $2.4 billion owed to the feds if the project “becomes too costly for taxpayers and is shut down.”

There is that same catch that caused Governor Christie to stop the New Jersey to New York high speed rail project.  The truth is that they failed to do any true Life-Cycle budget and revenue projections for proper cost analysis. Add to that the fact that when it becomes proven to be too expensive to complete, the taxpayers would still be on the hook for $2.4 Billion dollars and this truly had all the makings of a disaster!  Thank you Governor Scott, I sure am glad I voted for you, instead of high-speed-rail-at-any-cost, Democrat  Alex Sink!

Governor Scott is a realist when it comes to Florida’s revenue, and also sums up a fact that the federal Government needs to be reminded of when he said, “Government has no resources of its own. Government can only give to us what it has previously taken from us… Higher taxes and more government spending is a recipe for disaster. Government has become addicted to spending beyond its means and we cannot continue this flawed policy.”  The fact that this was still being pushed onto the backs of Floridians, even though we voted down a tax to help pay for this project just last year, is very indicative on just how out of touch our Governments have become today. What part of  “No high-speed rail”  do you people not understand? Apparently, we still have some further house-cleaning to do in our State legislature in 2012. Those names will be duly noted and published, as we get closer to the 2012 elections. We the people of Florida, and across America are tired of being ignored, and being told that career politicians know better than we do on how to spend OUR tax dollars.