The Role of Unions in a Perfect World

By Edward Ring
The optimal public policy regarding unions may not be realistic in states like California, but that shouldn’t prevent us from performing an occasional what-if. For anyone even slightly right-of-center, what unions have done to this state is a catastrophe. And even for those to the left-of-center, many are realizing, for example, that California’s failing system...

TAGS: California, ed ring, government unions, high speed rail, public sector

The Bullet Train Epitomizes Golden State Corruption

By Edward Ring
It sounded too good to be true, and it was. Travel from downtown San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles in two hours via high-speed rail. California voters in 2008 approved Proposition 1A, authorizing $9.95 billion in general obligation bonds to build this so-called “bullet train.” They were told not only that the total cost would...

TAGS: California High School Exit Examination, California high speed rail, California High-Speed Rail Authority, Edward Ring, high speed rail

Gas-tax repeal gets closer to vote as train spotlights state’s misplaced priorities

By Steven Greenhut
Sacramento Almost everyone agrees that California’s infrastructure is shockingly decrepit, yet public anger over a 12-cent-a-gallon gas tax to address that problem has not subsided. Although an effort by GOP gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen to repeal the tax never got traction, a separate effort led by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, former San Diego Councilman...

TAGS: gas tax, high speed rail, Jerry Brown

The high-speed rail system has failed its promises

By David Schwartzman
It will soon be nine years since high-speed rail was passed in California. But Californians haven’t gotten the high-speed rail system they were promised. Instead, high-speed rail has taken a new form: it is more expensive and smaller in scope, and it will substantially increase traffic congestion in urban areas. High-speed rail will cost Californians...

TAGS: high speed rail, traffic

Bullet train myopia driving local transit boondoggles

By Steven Greenhut
SACRAMENTO – Over the past six years, California legislators and the governor have increased overall general-fund spending by $36 billion but couldn’t find extra money to spend on road, freeway and other meat-and-potatoes transportation projects. But that doesn’t mean they weren’t spending money like drunken brakemen on myriad rail-related projects. Sacramento’s transportation focus has been...

TAGS: high speed rail

What Californians Could Build Using the $64 Billion Bullet Train Budget

By Edward Ring
California’s High-Speed Rail project fails to justify itself according to any set of rational criteria. Its ridership projections are absurdly inflated, its environmental benefits are overstated if not actually net detriments, and its cost, its staggering cost, $64 billion by the latest estimate, overwhelms anyone with even a remote sense of financial proportions. To make...

TAGS: California high speed rail, California infrastructure, high speed rail

By Just Enforcing Existing Law, Feds Can Halt California High-Speed Rail

By Mark Powell
By failing to require an update to California High Speed Rail’s Environmental Impact Report, state officials are violating a key provision of both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This failure lends an air of hypocrisy to Sacramento’s criticism of Trump Administration environmental stewardship and it also gives...

TAGS: high speed rail

California is world-leader in traffic; Caltrans engineers get raises

By Edmund Pine
Gov. Jerry Brown has often expressed his vision of California as America’s – maybe the world’s – leader in technology, climate change, anti-smoking campaigns, environmental protection, health care for the poor. But California is inarguably the leader in one category: Two California cities are among the world’s worst for traffic congestion. Los Angeles ranked No....

TAGS: California, California taxes, CalTrans, high speed rail, traffic, Unions

High Speed Rail Is ‘On Track’ to Incur Billions in Overruns

By Jon Coupal
Editor’s Note: This article by Jon Coupal provides an update on what has to be one of the biggest con jobs ever perpetrated on California’s voters – “High Speed Rail” that will never make a profit, will never move significant numbers of people, will not even be “high speed” in many sections of track, cannot...

TAGS: high speed rail, Jon Coupal

TAXPORTATION: Profligate Waste Negates Justification for Transportation Tax Hike

By Jon Coupal
Part One:  California’s Highways – A Legacy of Mismanagement and Over-regulation. A personal digression: My father was head of the Iowa Department of Transportation (then called the Iowa Highway Commission) in the late ’60s and early ’70s before he was appointed by President Ford to serve as Deputy Federal Highway Administrator. (Of course, he lost...

TAGS: CalTrans, Governor Brown, high speed rail