Governor Schwarzenegger has been talking about a new $50 Billion bond issue to fund infrastructure rehabilitiation in the State of California. Steve Frank of California Political News asks the question, “Can we afford it?”
“There is talk about a proposed $50 billion bond issue. The money will be spent for roads, schools, harbors, high speed transportation and water projects. Before we determine to vote for this we need to have a complete understanding of the proposal, the full impact.
In 2002 Bill Simon, the GOP nominee for Governor did a survey and found, at that time, that the minimum cost of repairing and building the California infrastructure was $180 billion. So, the $50 billion is just a stop gap measure.
For instance–I could make the $50 billion into almost $75 billion without a dime added to the $50 billion cost. Just get rid of prevailing wage and Davis-Bacon, union monopoly measures meant to pay off goons for not striking or disrupting government business. Then, as Senator Ackerman has pointed out, the high speed rail project is a worthless boondoggle. Do we really need to build a system that is not cost effective and doesn’t solve any problems, while at the same time road projects, like fixing the 101 in the south and the 50 and 80 in the north, would go a long way to helping end gridlock.
We need a coordinated plan, not one that is piecemeal. What about toll roads? School classrooms? We have more than we need. We could get class size down to 20 per class, give every teacher a 15% pay raise and still have money left over, without building another school. How? By enforcing our Federal immigration laws. In 1990, 15 years ago, LA Unified School District estimated they had 125,000 illegal aliens in the classrooms..on a base of 700,000 students. We don’t need more schools, we need law enforcement.
Political leadership needs to come to the people of California voters with a full scale program. Of course, this is only the start of the debate. I am sure the Governor and the Democrats in Sacramento know they need to promote this as a full scale program, not just throwing money to the wind, to pay off the unions–again.
The deficit this year is $7 billion with a possible $12 billion next year. We can’t afford new programs or interest on more debt. The results of the election show that politicians want to spend more money, not cut wasteful programs. And the voters bought it. That is the reality. California, with the next budget and the passage of massive bond measures will bring our economy to a halt and make us a Third World state. Nissan is about to leave California because of the high cost of living and tax policy. By leaving they won’t have to spend productive money on phony “Don’t sexually harass” training for managers. Instead the managers will have the time to build a better car and how to sell them. No wonder Nissan is leaving. Personally, I would fire any CEO that expanded in California, if they could build elsewhere.
One key fact has come out of the Special Election, the voters trust NO one in Sacramento. If the Governor and the Democrats go forward with this plan, they will have to show this is not just another payoff to special interests, that this will actually be done in a cost effective manner and that it will solve some of the problems–gridlock, law enforcement, prioritize education spending, etc.
Now is the time to speak up–write letters to the editor, call talk radio. Lets get the budget of California in order, pay off the over $50 billion debt we already have, make the current dollars go further, before we decide to spend money we don’t have.
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