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Citizens Against Government Waste Releases Timeline of California’s Failed High-Speed Rail Boondoggle

February 13, 2019

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 13, 2019--Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released a timeline of California’s high-speed rail boondoggle after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) announced that the state would be abandoning the project.

Timeline :

2008 – California voters approve $9.95 billion in bonds for a first in the nation, 800-mile high-speed rail project with an initial cost estimate of $35 billion to be completed by 2020.

2010 – Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) vetoes a financial accountability measure to preserve his legacy project.

2011 – The project’s cost estimate rises to $98.5 billion and the completion date is pushed back to 2033.

2012 – The boondoggle is “scaled back” and now includes, “speculative funding sources that might never materialize.”

2014 – Construction has yet to begin, but in his State of the State address, then-Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.), “ad-libbed [a] summary of the Little Engine That Could, rhythmically chanting its signature line, ‘I think I can,’ four times.”

2015 – Gov. Brown wildly claims, “I think we’re approaching that point of inevitability,” with the project.

2016 – The boondoggle is beset by, “legal, financial, and logistical delays.”

2017 – The Orange County Register pans the seemingly never-ending project: “More time-consuming and tens of billions of dollars more expensive than estimated when California voters approved the funding measure in 2008.”

2018 – A new business plan again moves the goalposts on price targets, ride schedule, geography, and overall taxpayer cost.

2019 – Gov. Newsom announces the project’s overdue demise: “Let’s be real. The current project, as planned, would cost too much and respectfully take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”

CAGW President Tom Schatz said in a statement:

“California’s high-speed rail fantasy quickly became a train to nowhere at taxpayer expense. This failed boondoggle should be taken as a giant red stop sign for any politician who supports the ‘Green New Deal’ and its equally farcical promise of ending air travel by forcing taxpayers to pay for a California-style rail system across the entire nation.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190213005684/en/

Curtis Kalin (202) 467-5318

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SOURCE: Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 02/13/2019 01:13 PM/DISC: 02/13/2019 01:13 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190213005684/en

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