Note: These letters are some of the overflow responses we received to our weekly question about the Legislature's decision on high-speed rail.
HSR and the tooth fairy have much in common
I think any member of the Legislature who voted in favor of this portion of HSR funding should not be returned to office. I understand politicians will try to tell us how we fail to grasp the complexities of the current situation, and fail to appreciate the tremendous value HSR will add to our future. However, many of these politicians are the same ones who have used what they believe to be their superior judgment to spend my state into bankruptcy. This suggests to me it would be reasonable to expect these folks to dig our hole deeper and faster.
HSR sounds great. So does the tooth fairy. We have too many legislators who would, therefore, fund both.
Project continues our wrongheaded thinking
Moving forward with the high-speed rail project is a continuation of the wrongheaded thinking that got us into the mess we are in.
I offer the following analogy. A man's car is being repossessed, but he wants to buy a wind-powered, energy-efficient yacht to take advantage of an expiring tax incentive. He ignores the fact the yacht's price is adjustable
We parents (the taxpayers) need to exercise tough love and reject the tax increase vote in November to send a clear message to these juveniles.
Legislature's approval squanders tax dollars
Unbelievable! That expresses my opinion on the Legislature's vote to fund the high-speed rail project.
California is flat broke and is cutting expenses to schools, the elderly, mental health, the disabled, state parks and the like. Now legislators vote to spend untold future billions ($50 billion, $60 billion, $100 billion ... pick a number) to capture $3 billion "free" from the feds. Huh?
Then legislators wonder why their approval rating is at an all-time low. Don't they understand that the same people who elected them now oppose the HSR project due to the costs? These folks have just proven beyond any doubt that they cannot manage money.
When thinking about how to vote on proposed tax increases by Gov. Brown and others, just remember the future tax dollars they squandered away with their vote on this project. They simply cannot be trusted to spend our tax dollars.
Give the money to schools instead
I find it hard to understand what the Democrats in Sacramento are thinking.
They have cut education funding to the bone, made cuts to healthy children programs, closed many state parks, and somehow believe it's OK to spend $8 billion on a train to nowhere.
If they think it will create jobs, then just give the $8 billion to the schools. That would provide employment for classroom teachers and for construction jobs to build or improve school buildings.
Amtrak fixes make much more sense
California already has a rail system that can take someone from San Francisco to Los Angeles -- Amtrak.
Rather than spend $69 billion on a high-speed rail system, why can't California work with Amtrak and the federal government to upgrade the current Amtrak line that travels through the San Joaquin Valley?
Based on where they want to locate the new high-speed rail line, it is logical the San Joaquin route would be the most viable route to use; renovate and extend from where it currently ends in Bakersfield.
The Amtrak Acela is a high-speed train that runs on the eastern seaboard and can be the business model for California since it's only one of the few Amtrak lines that is profitable.
Let's keep the infrastructure improvements portion of the plan, allowing local transit the ability to connect with Amtrak. Work with Southern Pacific to allow for new rail from Bakersfield to Los Angeles and save billions of dollars. That would be the more fiscally sound approach.
Rudolph David Silva