While reading The Huffington Post a few days ago, I ran across a blog, written by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, extolling the virtues of California's latest and greatest and probably biggest 'Boondoggle' ever, otherwise known as the California Bullet Train. California has its own special and unique standards for 'Boondoggle.' California wrote the book. California's 'Boondoggle" standards are the highest -- The Gold Standard of 'Boondoggle'.
The Mayor's blog is full of misinformation, disinformation and outright fantasy -- all of which seem to be the rule in our political system. Please see my first blog post on this topic, written in December, 2009: The California Bullet Train.
Here are my comments on the Mayor's blog post:
1) Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa announced proudly, in his blog, that the Federal Government is granting California $2.4 billion to build a Bullet Train. That amount plus California's Prop 1A's $9.95 Billion, "the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Train Bond Act... will make high speed rail in California a reality."
Comment: This is 3% of the $60-80 Billion it will cost to build the Bullet Train. (that's right, 3.0%). Adding the $9.95 billion of Prop 1A and we reach the grand total of $12.35 Billion of the $80 Billion required. That's 15%. (This is at best a wild-eyed estimate. Who knows what 30 years will bring financially to this project.) Other funds to make up the difference are to come from two sources: The State of California (which is broke and $20 billion in the red, which is rising fast) and private investors (none of whom have appeared). The voters should know that any bond measures passed by California voters are general obligation bonds. Should the state and private investors be unable to meet the Bullet Trains construction or operating costs, guess who gets to pay? California voters, a truly frightening possibility. Hence, "will make high speed rail in California a reality" meets all three criteria -- misinformation, disinformation, and fantasy. Score 3 to 0. With misinformation, disinformation and fantasy in the lead.
2) Mayor Villaraigosa points out that "with 14% unemployment, this funding couldn't have come at a better time.' (Los Angeles is also broke -- $500 million and rising fast.)
Comment: Apparently the Mayor thinks all of the $2.4 billion comes to Los Angeles. If it did, we here in LA would use it in two years. Of course, it doesn't. Sorry. Again, score 3 for misinformation, disinformation and fantasy. 3 to 0, totaling 6 to 0.
3) The Mayor, instead of being hung up with everyone's estimate of the bullet project completion date of 20- 30 years, picks 30 years (source Mayor Villaraigosa) and has a plan for putting people to work now -- The 30/10 plan. "My 30/10 initiative would build those twelve projects in 10 years instead of 30."
Comment: The 30/10 plan is simple. Wave your magic wand and take what was 30 and reduce it to 10. Hence the 30/10 Plan. Voila. Sorry 3 to 0, with a new total of 9 to 0.
5) Mayor of Los Angeles becomes Governor.
Comment: He has now become, in his mind at least, Governor Villaraigosa, Speaker of the House Villaraigosa, Chair of California High Speed Rain Authority Villaraigosa, and Treasurer of the State of California Villaraigosa, and seems to have forgotten he is only Mayor of Los Angeles Villaraigosa. He would have to be all these other people, or have them all abdicate their positions, so that he could take over. If he was in charge of this statewide project, amongst other things, he could put that old 30/10 plan into action. Another 3 to 0, with a new total 12 to 0.
6) Mayor is gratified to see his dreams come true.
Comment: As the Mayor said, concluding his blog: "I've always dreamed big, and for MY transit vision for LA, it is so rewarding to see my dreams coming true". Let's hear it for the Mayor. Another 3 to 0.
Final score 15 to 0. Each point, One through six scoring a perfect 3 -- All six containing misinformation, disinformation and outright fantasy.