Americans for Prosperity Reacts to Senate Hearing on High Speed Rail
Opponents Rail Against High-Speed Rail in Mountain View
Grassroots taxpayer advocacy organization, Americans for Prosperity California calls for voter approval before high speed rail expenditures are approved. In 2008 California voters approved $9 billion in bonds for a high-speed rail system to link the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles and Orange County via the Central Valley. Referred to as California’s own “Bridge to Nowhere,” the project was projected to cost $45 million and be completed by 2020. The project is now projected to cost over $117 billion and is already 13 years behind schedule. Polls show voter approval for high speed rail is now below 50%.
“Taxpayers oppose this massive boondoggle because they know the state simply not afford it.” explained AFP State Director David Spady. “41 of 44 Amtrak lines are subsidized by taxpayers, some as high as $462 per passenger. What makes the legislature think the most expensive rail line in the country will be any different? Currently California subsidizes Amtrak with over $90 million in operating expenses. With our current rail system failing to make a profit how can we consider spending another dime on this project? Taxpayers will be burdened with cost long after the rail line is completed. Payments to cover the current bond debt are in excess of $750 million per year. The costs to complete the project will simply overwhelm our state.”
An overflow crowd showed up last night in for a hearing by State Senators Correa, Simitian, Saulnier and Lowenthal to voice their opposition to the high speed rail project in Mountain View, California. Proponents of the project admitted that there is not enough money to complete even half of the project. However, they believe that once the process is started the legislature will have no choice but to complete the process. Spady believes that voters who were misled by the projected costs in 2008 deserve an opportunity to decide if they want to fund a project that could cost as much as ten times the amount of the original bond measure.
To interview Peter Foy or David Spady contact Americans for Prosperity at (805) 229-1117.