First Springfield.... Now California.
Unfortunately, we are not kidding: not even a day after Obama came pleading for more fiscal stimulus, and already California governor Jerry Brown is saying that the most insolvent state in America should proceed... with a high-speed rail project. Forget that China is in the process of shutting down 54 of its own: you see, this is precisely what California needs to give the optics it is the next Chinese miracle. Next up: 8% GDP growth, the expansion of BRIC to BRICC, a second, very much empty, Los Angeles built deep in the Mojave desert, toys covered in led paint, and a California wave of reverse fraudcap mergers. And as long as everyone pretends to go along with it, and sticks their head in the sand (following an AAAA ratings upgrade by Moodys and Fitch of course for solidarity's sake), this plan just may work....At a price of $43 billion, or just the notional amount of two average Treasury auctions.
From Sac Bee:
Gov. Jerry Brown said this afternoon that California's embattled high-speed rail project should move forward, despite growing criticism about the project's management and cost.
While the nation is in a "period of massive retrenchment," Brown told The Fresno Bee's editorial board, "I would like to be part of the group that gets America to think big again."
The Democratic governor has said little publicly about the project since it came under fire this year in Sacramento, with cost estimates rising and lawmakers questioning its oversight. The project, to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles, was once expected to cost about $43 billion, a figure the California High-Speed Rail Authority is expected to update this fall.
Brown said he is "really getting into" the project and that "we're working directly with the authority to get their act together."
He said he will appoint a commissioner to fill a vacant seat on the agency's governing board this week, though he declined to say who.
"I'm doing the best I can to keep this train running," Brown said.
And lest there is any doubt the governer is only partially insane, this should settle it.
The rail project is one of two major infrastructure projects on Brown's agenda. He said today that he will have a plan for the other project - a peripheral canal or other way to move water through or around the Delta - within a year.
Dear president Obama: you most certainly will not be needing best wishes in passing that Fiscal stimulus bill. A few more projects like this and it is a guaranteed slam dunk.
(and to all those E-trade babies, unemployed twitter daytraders and Jim Cramers whose eyes immediately lit up with hopes of going long the train, despite the sad case study of the Las Vegas iteration, it is mono, not momorail)