Gov. Jerry Brown, Signing High-Speed Rail Bill: "You have to take the bull by the horns and start spending and investing in things that make sense"


Read it and weep, you fearful declinists! Via the San Jose Mercury News:

Declinists! All of them!

With his most public cheerleading yet for California's bullet train, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed the $8 billion bill to kick off high-speed rail construction and showed no sign he was worried about voters' increasing skepticism for the rail line.

Calling naysayers "NIMBYs," "fearful men," and "declinists," the governor celebrated a project that he first signed a bill to study 30 years ago.

Declinists? Really? Is that supposed to be an insult? Is that the best he can come up with?

Apparently spent the whole day signing this thing, speaking in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, but oddly, not at the actual places in the Central Valley where the first leg will be built (and the only leg that this funding actually covers):

Despite the governor's enthusiasm, high-speed rail has become increasingly unpopular around the state, and polls show a majority of voters now oppose the plan largely because of its record costs and uncertain prospects for completion. Brown, who was silent publicly when the Legislature debated his bullet train plan two weeks ago, now needs Californians back on board but said Wednesday he wasn't concerned by the polls.

"You have to take the bull by the horns and start spending and investing in things that make sense," Brown said Wednesday.

His choice of words for the project's opponents showed the governor wasn't concerned about winning over critics just yet.

One of those critics, Larry Klein, a Palo Alto councilman and chair of the city's high-speed rail committee, was unfazed by Brown's barbs.

"I'm not going to get into a name-calling contest with the governor. That doesn't get us anywhere," said Klein, who was not at the signing ceremony. "This doesn't change anything. It's still a boondoggle and a fiasco."

The Mercury News also points out the press release put out from the governor's office focused on the additional regional light rail money that helped get the bullet train past the state Senate (by a single vote).

While Brown held nothing back in his remarks on high-speed rail in San Francisco, a press release about his signature was much less candid. It began by saying the bill will "create thousands of new jobs in California by modernizing regional transportation systems" before mentioning high-speed rail.

The press release went into detail on local projects that will benefit from the funds, and how many jobs will be created, without ever detailing the particulars of the high-speed rail project.

I'm going to guess it's because they have absolutely no idea how they're actually going to pay for the train past Fresno or Bakersfield.

In totally unrelated news, Compton is now talking about bankruptcy. Pessimistic declinists, the lot of them!

NEXT: Condoleezza Rice Top Romney VP Choice For Voters; Surest Sign She Won't Be His Pick?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Shackford better mellow out, or he will pay.

  2. Is that a picture of Obama’s presidency?

    /low-hanging fruit

  3. Is this Jerry Brown back when he had hair?

  4. Mr Shackford,

    When will you realise that experts know how to spend your money better than you do?

  5. “You have to take the bull by the horns and start spending and investing in things that make sense”

    “…but first, let me get this money pit of a project signed and out of the way.”

  6. You’ve only got $200 left to your name. Are you gonna make a partial payment on your rent or head over to the pub for a world-rocking bender?

    This, friends, is California.

    1. stealing this for use on other boondoggle-documenting g’ment project stories..

  7. It’s still a boondoggle and a fiasco.

    I suggest we coin a new term – a moondoggle.

    1. which, of course, is full of Jerrypandering. (Ducks)

  8. Comments regarding drunken sailors are not appropriate.
    Those guys aren’t as dumb as moonbeam.

    1. Yeah, I was in Manhattan during Fleet Week this year, and I saw a lot of dopey-looking drunk sailors with incredibly hot chicks. Putting on that stupid-looking white uniform is pretty smart, apparently.

      1. You seen moonbeam’s ‘partner’? Blowing $8B on a euro-cool choo-choo gets him not so much.

    2. Yep, that’s probably why Dave Ramsey has changed the saying to something like “spending like a drunken congressman”.

    3. Also, they’re spending their own money, not somebody else’s taken by force.

      1. er…not the best example for that principle.

  9. Why am I getting some ad for some guy running for Senate in Texas? I ain’t in Texas.

    1. Better than the one to send Liz Warren a birthday wish.

      1. What’s funny is I keep getting attack ads against a congressman in my state who is for Citizens United, launched by lefties who decry super PACs and coorpearashuny types…through super PACs.

        1. Yeah, but they’re not Republican super PACs, so they don’t count.

    2. Re: cw,

      Why am I getting some ad for some guy running for Senate in Texas? I ain’t in Texas.

      No, but you wish you were.

      1. I don’t know. That humidity just kills me.

        1. Midland calls you.

  10. In Vegas, they’ve got places where you can get an instant marker on your car or your house. And once you’ve blown three-quarters of the equity in your home, why not just gamble the rest of it away?

    I bet that’s how Brown looks at it. We already have, what, $800 billion in unfunded pension liabilities?…..-pensions/

    People compare California to Greece, but last I heard, Greece only had about $350 billion in outstanding debt! Comparing California to Greece isn’t an insult to California; comparing California to Greece is an insult to Greece!

    And now, yesterday, CalPers reports that their rate of return on their investments is sooOOoo freakin’ bad, it’s awful.

    …and the State of California is obligated to pick up the tab for whatever CalPers can’t cough up!

    Jerry knows that. He knows they’re all in. They’re not just all in–they’ve got a marker with the casino that they can’t cover. Might as well blow it all, eh Jerry?

    But the problem isn’t the spending! Oh, no. And it isn’t Sacramento, either! The problem is Prop 13. The problem is that people don’t realize that if you have a business? You didn’t build that, so you need to pay more in taxes…

    ’cause if spending all of our money like drunken sailors is the problem, then the solution is to give them more of our money to spend–don’t you stupid conservatives know anything?

    1. I think Ken may well be on to something here. It is a well-established notion in finance that, when you become very close to bankruptcy, the equity-holders (in this case citizens) are actually better off taking wild, irrational gambles. The stock starts to resemble and option and higher vols make the stock worth more. The downside is roughly the same and the upside is you save yourself.

      1. I don’t know if it’s fair to say that Greece is in a better position than California. Greece may only have $350 billion in outstanding debt, but its GDP is only a bit less than $300 billion. California may have the huge $800 billion in debt, but its GDP is just shy of $2 trillion. It makes California look good compared to Greece and, say, the U.S. federal government. I know, I know – the feds can print money, etc. Still…

        And I don’t think for an instant that CalPERS is going to continue in its present incarnation for very long. There are really only two ways to deal with the pension crisis. Either the public sector unions re-negotiate and take meaningful pay cuts that abate the crisis. Or they bankrupt the state and lose out in the bankruptcy proceedings. Note that there are no statutes or case law governing state bankruptcies. So the law could be written in a manner very favorable to California.

        1. As far as the thoughts about spending go…do you really think that’s Brown’s thought pattern? Or is it possible that he’s always been a tax and spend statist and can’t get out of that mindset?

  11. Despite the governor’s enthusiasm, high-speed rail has become increasingly unpopular around the state, and polls show a majority of voters now oppose the plan[…]

    Quite revealing to learn that California is mostly populated by “NIMBYs,” “fearful men,” and “declinists.” Living in Santa Cruz for a while, you get to be isolated from the real world for a while.

    1. I could see the NIMBY part: “Don’t build that choo choo train in my backyard…oh, it’ll just go through the neighbor’s? Well that’s just swell then.”

  12. I can’t wait until California suffers its inevitable, crushing, ultimate failure. I will be positioned to occupy property near Pismo Beach and defend it against all comers.

    1. Federal bailout. Happened to New York City.

      1. That bailout would be about as big as TARP.

        If Romney bails out California, there’s no way he’s gonna get reelected, and with the Tea Party types having been absorbed into the Republican Party now? I don’t think they’ll let Obama bail out California if he wins either.

        I think we’re on our own.

        Meanwhile, we’ve got, what, Compton, Stockton and the city of San Bernardino all seeking bankruptcy protection now? …there are more on the way, I’m sure.

        I’ve been reading headlines for years about how the state of California is effectively raiding its cities in various ways–’cause it’s hurting so bad. How’s the state gonna bail out those municipalities?

        Abandon all hope.

        Taxes are going way up.

        1. So-called Tea Party Republicans in the House voted to (in what I believe was a continuing resolution) keep funding the Export/Import Bank and other examples of government largess. I could see them bailing out California.

          There is virtually no congressman with the gumption to rein in spending.

          1. If the president tried to give $800 billion to the state of California, there’s no way the Tea Party contingent would vote for it.

            We’re talking TARP big. That’s part of the problem…I don’t think people really grok the magnitude.

            $800 billion is about the size of TARP. That isn’t chump change to anybody. That’s about the same size as the direct costs of Iraq.

            California is so deep in the hole that bailing them out would cost about the same as bombing, invading, and occupying Iran for ten years.

            Think TARP–except Wall Street paid the government back* within a few years, and there’s no way California could pay that money back like that.

            If the rest of the country bailed out California for its irresponsible behavior, the consequences for the politicians who championed and approved it would be about the same as they were for the people who got run over by the Tea Party–especially in the primaries.

            Again, Romney will have no incentive to stick his neck out for California if he wins–his chances of carrying California are miniscule. He’s already written California off, for the most part, I’m sure.

            And if Obama wins again, the Republicans won’t have any incentive to bail out California either. Hell, if California implodes, most of them will be playing a “See, I told you so” take anyway.

            How do you go from “I told you so” to “Here, have some of my constituent’s money”?

            *Congress squandered on the stimulus what was paid back from TARP, but that’s another story.

            1. Bankruptcy is a good thing. It exists to help organizations restructure in a manner that frees up resources which have been tied up in unproductive endeavors. And attempts to put those resources to use in a more efficient manner. There’s nothing California (or the nation) needs more.

    2. I plan on erecting a fortress on Balboa Island and the Newport Beach peninsula and declare myself Warden of the West.

      1. Nice. My SIL used to live in Redondo. Nice place, except for all the Californians.

        1. Redondo also has a lot of Brazilians, which makes up for it…. Lots of tiny bikinis and good churrascaria….

          1. I was pissed when she and her husband decided to move to Boston to be closer to his family. I lost my excuse to go and gawk in the CA sun…

        2. I lived in Redondo for years. I used to live next door to Ogre.

          There are parts of Los Angeles we don’t like to talk about, and the South Bay is one of them.

          Just let everyone else think it’s horrible here, and maybe more of them will stay away!

          Anyway, it ain’t like it used to be. It hasn’t been the same since they shut down Senior Frog’s, Toe’s Tavern–or Either/Or in Hermosa. I

          The bikinis are still all good though. And they become decidedly better the closer one gets to Manhattan Beach.

          But, it’s a horrible place, the South Bay. Nobody come here. And for God’s sake, don’t bring a bike. Nothing to do. Why not go to Venice instead? Or Hollywood!

          1. Too late, Ken. I’ve seen the light. The only thing that keeps me from moving to CA is taxes and your ridiculous gun laws.

          2. I live in Manhattan. Just re-inflated the tires on my beach cruiser in anticipation of the June Gloom finally lifting. It is not as much fun with a toddler riding on the kid’s seat behind me, but still pretty awesome….

          3. P.S. Hermosa is Hollywood light. I used to go to the H.B. pier all the time in my early to mid 20’s. Now, there are too many Douchebags for me to ever set foot there again….

            1. Ever since they redid the end of Pier Ave, it’s been a lot less…like it used to be.

              Redondo/Hermosa is the original home of Black Flag, you know? I mean, it’s hard to tell what you mean by douchebag there–’cause that’s what the surfers call the yuppies, and that’s what the yuppies call the surfers.

              As recently as the ’90s, you could rent an apartment a half block off the strand for $750 a month in Hermosa. The yuppies wouldn’t live in Hermosa until the mid-’90s–after the riots.

              Yuppies would’ve rather lied and told you they were from Torrance or “Hollywood Riviera”–’cause they were embarrassed to be from Hermosa.

              Hermosa was basically like Ocean Beach is in San Diego–kinda raunchy. I lived in San Diego for a long time before I moved to Los Angeles.

              Hermosa was always sort of raunchy like that. Despite the sometimes clean cut image surfers have, people from surf communities are some of the raunchiest people on the planet.

              They can be really territorial and hostile to outsiders, too. And Hermosa being invaded by yuppies made them ever more so in Hermosa.

              I don’t suppose they’re as bad as the crew in PV, but still. They’ve been invaded. They felt like they were under siege.

              A lot of people can’t afford to live there anymore. Now they’ve had to move to San Pedro, which is kinda like giving up on life.

              1. San Pedro is a a great place to live….if you just got out of jail.

                1. When the USS Abe Lincoln came to the Port of LA last year, they handed out a map to the sailors showing them where they weren’t allowed to go during shore leave. It was basically a map with a big red circle around San Pedro…

              2. I moved to a 1 bd apartment a block from the beach in Hermosa (near the Chart House) in 2001 and the rent was $1175/mo. By 2006, I was paying $1375 and due for another increase.
                I decided that was way too much to pay for a place right across the street from a giant power plant….
                By douchbags, I mean people from Hollywood and the Westside who take stretch Humvee Limos to Pier Ave and behave like they are on the 1st season of Jersey Shore.

      2. I call coronado island…

        1. Sweet. SIL used to live in Ocean Beach, too, and we went to Coronado once. Fun fun fun.

        2. Since you used the term “island” instead of “islands”, I assume you are not referring to the islands off of the coast of Baja, which have an interesting history:

    3. db, do you live on the Central Coast? I work in Shell Beach and live in SLO. California has a lot of things going for it, but unfortunately, our government seems to negate much of that with their sheer awfulness

      1. I live near Pittsburgh, have spent time on business and visiting family in CA. I love the Pismo/Arroyo Grande area.

  13. Make money using Google. Find out how to make up to $175/hr working for this billion dollar company. More info @ makecash25dotcomONLY

  14. Make money using Google. Find out how to make up to $175/hr working for this billion dollar company. More info @ makecash25dotcomONLY

    1. Show us how, Spambot!

  15. Anybody else find it ironic that he signed the bill in Los Angeles, where the High Speed Rail will not be connected for… ever?

  16. California: Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.

    1. I didn’t know Hotel California was about the entire state.

  17. why do politicians who spend somebody elses money for wasteful programs keep using the word “invest” the definition from merriam webster:
    2invest verb
    transitive verb
    : to commit (money) in order to earn a financial return
    : to make use of for future benefits or advantages

    Not only is there no financial or economic return, it just brings more taxpayer paid jobs, econcomic damage, taking of private sector jobs, niche market, inflated numbers all the way around, and then after all that it will keep being subsidized at the highest cost of any government program ever.

    1. Because in the eyes of Keynesians, every dollar the government spends magically produces more money in return.

      It’s like that speech Obama just gave. If somehow the government building roads and bridges creates businesses, imagine how much a high speed rail will create

  18. Bull

    Bull by the WTF?

    Obviously bull. The cali protection racket is imploding. Good thing republicans destroyed themselves antes.

    Ha, ha

    1. Yeah, I always wondered where that term got started. Anybody who has been anywhere near a real bull would have an instinctual understanding that those would be the last thing to grab for.

      1. It references a problem that is already upon you and must be addressed with bold, direct action. If you’re about to be gored, you probably want to try to direct the horns away from you.

        Now, why would anyone grab a tiger by the tail…

  19. This project someday will serve as a giant monument to government waste, and to the political class’s lack of good judgment.

    1. If they actually managed to lay down track and are forced to stop with only a partial line between Merced and Fresno, then yes, it will literally be a public moument to Brown’s ego and Democratic stupidity.

      1. What will happen is very simple. They will build the current section of the project before the money runs out, and then they will do various minor upgrades to other lines to allow train speeds that were closer to being in line with historic travel times, and then spend the next fifty years doing piecemeal upgrades to the old lines, eventually ending with a shitty disaster that cost hundreds of times more than doing it right would have cost. Of course, it will still take more time to travel between anywhere important than it did in the thirties, but there will be electric trains! That will be the ultimate monument to the insanity of government spending.

  20. Oy. To paraphrase a great man:
    Far as I see it, you people been given the longest end of the stick ever been offered a human soul in this crap-heel ‘verse. But you took that end, and you – well, you took it. And that’s – Well, I guess that’s somethin’.

    1. That would the “shortest” end of the stick. And there’s no statue of Jerry Brown that I’m aware of.

      1. No, California really is/was once the longest end of the stick for america. Natural resouces, wonderful climate, geographic center of the world, decent schools and universities, high tech industries. All down the crapper.

        1. Most of those things are still there. California could come storming back if enough folks there really wanted it to. Unfortunately, a huge percentage of the population is on the take and won’t give it up without a fight.

  21. Enviros and NIMBYs held up a relatively short interstate link in Eastern Penna. for more than 25 years by continually filing lawsuits. This is a job for the California LP – join with the enviros and farmers and demand protection for every centipede, owl, tortoise, and pgymy rabbit you can dream up in the high speed rail corridor. The studies, hearings, appeals can be looped endlessly to see this train never turns a wheel.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.