President Donald Trump wants our money back.
In a Twitter post Wednesday, Trump told California Gov. Gavin Newsom to return $3.5 billion in federal funding after Newsom announced a plan to scale back the state’s obscenely expensive and incomplete high-speed rail project.
During his first State of the State address on Tuesday, Newsom said he was focusing on completing a 171-mile of the line that’s already under construction, according to The Associated Press.
“Let’s be real,” Newsom told lawmakers. “The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long … Right now, there simply isn’t a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A. I wish there were.”
The plan, which voters approved in 2008, was meant to complete a high-speed rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles by 2020.
But now the governor is admitting there “isn’t a path” toward completing the plan.
A Newsom spokesman told the AP that the governor is still committed to builidng the longer line with more private and federal money “as the Central Valley section demonstrates the viability of the broader project.”
It’s not surprising that the big government plan is more expensive and taking longer than originally estimated.
Originally, the high-speed rail was estimated to cost $33 billion.
Now the rail is estimated to cost $77 billion and the timeline has been pushed to 2033, the AP reported.
After Newsom’s speech, Trump said California should pay back the federal government for the money it’s spent on the project.
“California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars,” Trump tweeted. “They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a ‘green’ disaster!”
California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars. They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a “green” disaster!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2019
It’s fitting that Trump called California’s failed high-speed rail a “green disaster” because the project is reminiscent of proposals by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats in their Green New Deal.
Ocasio-Cortez proposed a plan to “build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.”
Sorry, socialists, but big government was too incompetent to build a rail line in a single state, and big government would be equally incompetent with similar projects across the country.
Newsom responded to Trump by arguing that California is still building the rail, but he failed to mention that it’s massively scaled back plans and it’s still going to take over a decade beyond its original scheduled completetion.
“Fake news. We’re building high-speed rail, connecting the Central Valley and beyond,” Newsom tweeted.
Fake news. We’re building high-speed rail, connecting the Central Valley and beyond.
This is CA’s money, allocated by Congress for this project. We’re not giving it back.
The train is leaving the station — better get on board!
(Also, desperately searching for some wall $$??) https://t.co/9hxEfEX8Vm
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) February 14, 2019
California is wasting taxpayer money on a project that’s clearly going nowhere fast.
California’s governor should give the money back.
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