California Issues $1.25BN In Bonds For 'Bullet Train' Despite Trump Threat To Withhold Federal Funds

Tyler Durden's picture

For decades now the California bullet train has been the thorn in the sides of what few conservatives actually live in the liberal bastion of the West.  And with cost estimates starting at $65 billion, and ranging to well over $100 billion, or about $7,800 per California household, it's no wonder that fiscally responsible folks would be a bit reluctant to spend so much money on a service few will ever use and could threaten the solvency of their state as a whole.

Be that as it may, seemingly no impediment, financial or otherwise, will stop Jerry Brown from wasting billions of California taxpayers' dollars in pursuit of his pet project.  Which is why it should come as little surprise that Brown has elected to proceed with a $1.25 billion general obligation bond sale today despite Trump's threats to withhold federal funding for the project, a move which casts substantial doubts over the financial feasibility of the project as a whole. Per Bloomberg:

California isn’t letting litigation or Donald Trump stand in the way of one of the most expensive and controversial projects in the U.S.


The state on Thursday plans to sell $1.25 billion in taxable bonds to finance a $64 billion high-speed rail system, the first debt issue for construction since voters approved it nearly a decade ago. The offering marks a show of faith from officials that the project will proceed despite a lawsuit from a county and farmer opposed to it and roadblocks from the Trump administration, which has delayed a grant that would have benefited the bullet train running from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area.


The general-obligation debt, backed by California’s full faith and credit, isn’t dependent on the success of the project, the first publicly financed U.S. high-speed rail line. Lack of federal support would push more of the burden on California to finance the project, which Democratic Governor Jerry Brown says will transform the traffic-choked state by increasing access to affordable housing and boosting local economies.

Of course, according to Brown, California can "well afford" a $100 billion capital project...

"California can well afford it, and it will make our state a much better place.  I know we’re going up against a very red tide here of opposition. This thing is a long-term project, and one way or another we’re going to get it."

...which we guess is true if you ignore the state's failing pension fund and various cities going bankrupt.

Meanwhile, California bondholders either don't believe the bullet train will ever be completed, an eventuality that would undoubtedly push the state to the brink of bankruptcy, or simply don't care.

Bullet Train

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south40_dreams's picture

They need a bullet train like they need a bullet in the brain

Arnold's picture

Dud round.
Clear procedure, like you learned.

knukles's picture

Waste of money.  The benefits are all going to accrue to folks who sell their land for the right of way and contractors.
Other than that I can think of no reason to travel from Big Sur, up to San Fran to catch a high speed train to Visalia.*
Fucking retards.

* Fore those not in the know, Visalia is a shit-hole out in the Central Valley.  It has never made anybody's bucket list.  Ever.

cougar_w's picture

Back up, that's Trump country. Yee haa.

CheapBastard's picture

They need to speed a few million more illegals up from the border to sanctuary cities like LA...


"Diversity is their strentgth."

knukles's picture

Honest additional CA spending BS.
Some of the rich, powerful and influential in LA were talking up a high speed rail to Mexico so that their help could commute.

Honest to fucking God.

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

Who are the fucktards buying these unpayable bonds?  More gubmint pensions?

Donald Trump's picture
Donald Trump (not verified) Creepy_Azz_Crackaah Apr 20, 2017 8:31 PM

Maybe they plan to paint it green and pay for it with Carbon Credits. That would be so progressive, all SJW will melt out of pleasure. Especially since they'd accomplish their dream with other people money, as always.

UN Racket: EU Commissioned Report Finds Carbon Credits Are a Waste of Money

Handful of Dust's picture

These commuter type trains tend to do one thing---spread the disease from one area to another.

Look at DART in Dalles. It ghettoized the entire north Dallas area along its route.

The Austin public bus sytem loses tons of money each year since no one uses it except a handful of students. It just gushes more pollution into the already seriously polluted Austin air.

Nix any future of these plans imo.

TruxtonSpangler's picture

You lost me at "California can well afford it"

The_Juggernaut's picture

At least they aren't going to waste the money fixing their fucked up dams.

Manthong's picture


When the Sacramento rats turn on the fabulatti in/on Malibu and Bel Aire , they can extract all the fiat they want and all the elite asshats will be able to do is move to the Nevada desert.

Maybe Henderson needs a sign atop the foothills like Hollywood has.

SoDamnMad's picture

I took the MARTA train from Hartsfield Airportto the end of the line beyond Sandy Springs up north.  Sure glad I took it around noon and not at night. 

True Blue's picture

Beat me to it! This has 'pension funds' written all over it.

And bonds are leveragable 'assets' right? How big will this snowball into once it is rehypothecated and passed through the financial squids?

"Full faith and credit" -bwahahahaha (omg I can't breathe) bwahahahahaha. California -your "Governor" just put your children and grandchildren on the auction block to keep State Employee pensions liquid for a couple more years and the fund managers rolling in hookers and blow.

Ms. Erable's picture

Two appropriate names for this open theft project by the state of Commiefornia:

1. The Unicorn Trail

2. The Free Shit Express to Nowhere.

And the majority of idiots in this state actually voted for this bullshit project (AKA slush fund and personal revenue enhancement vehicle for members of The Big Club).

True Blue's picture

I vote Unicorn Trail; put a big metal spike like the original 'death race' on the front and fuel the thing with green wads of cash. Finally, put a series of spoilers on the tail end so the low pressure area they create causes condensation and it leaves a big 'heterosexually challenged' rainbow trailing behind it.

edit -that is almost awful enough one of us should copyright it in case they really do.

Stuck on Zero's picture

1. They can't build the train ... it will disturb the Delta Smelt, the Lesser Titmouse, and native American sacred lands and burial grounds.

2. Obviously Trump could stop the thing from being built for 50 years by using existing Federal laws.

3. Also, the name "bullet" is so derogatory to those have been gunshot victims.

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

LOL!!  Yea, X years ago the Washington Bullets had to change their team name because it was too scary for leftists. And leftists MUST "teach" everyone just how scary (BE AFRAID!!!) anything to do with a gun is.  CA can call it the Wizard Train.

fockewulf190's picture

Let's build a high speed rail system, costing billions, right before the mother of all earthquakes is expected to rip California to shreds. What a great fucking plan Stan.

SoDamnMad's picture

I was thinking that the way from the "grapevine" end of the Imperial Valley to LA will be by building a Yuuuge tunnel through the mountains (and across the San Andreas fault line) thereby triggering the "Big One".

Handful of Dust's picture

PLUS, AAAT ( American Association for the Advancement of Trannies) objects to this ill-named, sexist, homophobic, anti-transgender name, "Trainee"!

CrazyCooter's picture

To put that in perspective - Alaska could built a 800 mile long natural gas pipeline and liquification facility for approximately the same money.

Wonder which one would have better cash flow ...



HINT: It ain't getting built either because the economics are crap - not as crappy as the stupid train, but its pretty spendy compared to a lot of other potential LNG projects out there.

EDIT: Or if you prefer the musical version of the same thing:

Great American Taxi - Poorhouse

Teja's picture

Japan, China and all larger European countries have built their bullet train networks, and those are highly successful. They cost a lot to build, but are a good long term investment, in contrast to the short term investment into crappy roads and antiquated pickups the U.S. prefers to make. And you wonder why the U.S. gets more and more similar to some slow 3rd world countries like India?

I guess California decided it will not follow the U.S. down in that direction much longer. And paying the bullet train with U.S. paper dollars might be a very good deal long term.

TheEndIsNear's picture

Not nearly as bad as Tulare, Goshen, Tipton, Pixley, Porterville, Merced, Modesto, Fresno, etc. Last time I was there, there were thousands of acres of apricot and other trees and vegetation that were abandoned and all grown up with weeds because the farmers couldn't get enough water to keep them alive.

man of Wool's picture

Now if it went from LA to New York it would be a great national asset. Other states could develop their own lines and in about 30 years time you could have a national high speed train network.

High speed trains are generally pretty good way to travel.

It is a lot of money. Especially when other more fundamental infrastructure is being neglected.

Railways made America great!

Mr. Universe's picture

It's not really farming when you have to rely on a government supplied ditch in order to exist.

bitterwolf's picture

I am in the know.... (native WHITE Californian) and the ENTIRE state is a shit-hole 3rd world POC nightmare.I am a former San Diego Transit officer (lost my mind for a year) and the **Bullet Train** will be shit/urinated in,graffiited and will only transport dumbass tourists, illegas,thugs,transients,5150/s....etc....LOFL another POC transportation vehicle subsidized by WHITE wealth..... just like the light rail system throughout Mexifornia.

spiral galaxy's picture

Actually, considering the progressive liberal brain, perhaps a bullet to the brain would be apropos:-)

south40_dreams's picture

I had the same thought as I wrote that lol

cheech_wizard's picture

A bullet train to nowhere.

Standard Disclaimer: Same shovel ready job, different day.

bobdobolina's picture

This is absurdity. It will always be much much cheaper to fly between LA and SF than it will be to make this boondongle of a train. Can someone say hyperloop babeeeeeeeeeyyyyy

cougar_w's picture

Going out of a limb here: Within 20 years it will cost passengers $20/mile of airline travel due to "recovery taxes" on fossil fuel consumption, in the face of run-away global heating and all the frantic efforts to put a fast ceiling on that.

With that possibility in mind you can start to see why a large state like Cali might be all the sudden hot and bothered to come up with an alternative way to get to Hollywood and Disneyland.

FringeImaginigs's picture

You mean we can't just keep flying at low cost forever? How about just building a 12 lane superexpressway (Autobahn) with no speed limits. Then I can burn as much gas as I want and get there slower.  Trains are clearly a European-commie-pinko plot to ruin america. Take my muscle car from my dead hands if you dare. 

DeathMerchant's picture

Look at it this way, it might take the terrorist focus off of airplanes.

Teja's picture

No speed limits, great idea. Build it ocean to ocean, I would suggest. Real guys like you will then hopefully ignore the "end of road" signs on the coastal ends, creating something like a lemming experience for spectators.

SanJoseMutza's picture

The electricity to run the trains will come from the burning of fossil fuels. As will the energy required to build the system. There is no escaping that. 

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

And zipping an EMPTY train around CA isn't exactly the best fuel per passenger plan.

"But it is a gubmint train."  "But it goes fast with or without people riding it."

Implied Violins's picture

FUCK this bullshit. We need that shit like a bullet in the head (well, less than that anyway).

Come on, Big One - where are you when we need it??

Rich Stoehner's picture

Two words...Nancy Pelose

Tipsy's picture

It tells you something that the courts give the thumbs up despite that, acording to the text of the law, the bullet train is clearly illegal. 

The rule of law is dead in California.  Thanks Jerry.

BetterRalph's picture

your right, and it is getting kind of scary this lawlessness.

ARREST Jerry, audit California CAFR
no sanctuary city, WALL

sheikurbootie's picture

It was not a threat, it was a promise.  Big difference.  State rights are one thing, federal GRANT money is another.  Good luck Cali, you're on your own.

Xena fobe's picture

Thats why they just raised gas tax and car registration.

mosfet's picture

Don't worry not a dime of that money will see a day of bullet train construction but will instead be put to better use in facilitating Cali's bankrupt gov to put off a balanced budget for at least another year.

cougar_w's picture

Wait. I thought Donny was going to spend trillions on infrastructure. If so, then on what? Moar freeways? What are they doing to do, start stacking freeways on top of each other now?

2_legs_bahhhhhd's picture

Trump will be able to borrow and spend those trillions, but first he has to do the bankers a solid by launching a few more perpetual wars

in4mayshun's picture

It will take trillions just to maintain our existing roads, let alone building more

Xena fobe's picture

Bicycle lanes, center median islands, wide corner curbs, roundabouts, toll lanes.  Raises for Caltrans workers.  Public transportation.  You know, the usual Agenda 21 designs to deliberately impede traffic flow.