Town Square

Post a New Topic

With a deficit like this ...

Original post made by Gern Blanston, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks, on Feb 2, 2009

Who in their right mind would advocate spending tens of billions of dollars on high speed rail when the state is facing a projected $25 billion budget gap in 2009-2010 alone? Madness, I say:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Running short of cash, California has started delaying $3.5 billion in payments to taxpayers, contractors, counties and social service agencies.

With the governor and state lawmakers locking horns on resolving California's budget crunch, the controller Monday halted checks covering these obligations so the state could continue funding its school system and making its debt payments.

The delay will inflict more pain on the already sorry condition of the Golden State, which is facing a $40 billion budget gap. People won't have tax refund money to spend, businesses won't get paid for their services and agencies won't have funds to help the needy until the budget situation is addressed.

Nearly $2 billion in personal state income tax refunds are being held up, according to state estimates. Last year, some two million Californians received refunds in February.

"People are going to be hurt starting today," said Garin Casaleggio, a spokesman for Controller John Chiang.

Also on hold are $515 million in payments to the state's vendors and $280 million to help people with developmental disabilities. Other public assistance agencies will be left waiting for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders are behind closed doors trying to hammer out a solution to the state's budget crisis, which also includes a $15 billion budget deficit for 2008-2009 and a projected $25 billion gap for 2009-2010. The governor has proposed draconian spending cuts in virtually every department, as well as hefty tax increases, to close the widest deficit in its history.

Comments (8)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Feb 3, 2009 at 9:26 am

The roof is leaking. The basement is flooding. The plumbing is broken. The house needs a major repair job. We are in deep financial doo-doo. We may not be able to make the next mortgage payment.

Hey, honey, how about we borrow money and go out and buy a Ferrari?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 3, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Martin Engel writes:

"Hey, honey, how about we borrow money and go out and buy a Ferrari?

Hey Martin, don't think small... think "Let's build a High Speed Train" -- its only going to cost around $100 billions.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 3, 2009 at 8:43 pm

It is an investment. Not spending for spending's sake.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by What a waste
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 3, 2009 at 9:39 pm

It's spending for the sake of politics. It's an investment only if we can time travel back to 1890 or so, when trains still represented the future instead of the past.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by FormerMPer
a resident of another community
on Feb 5, 2009 at 6:37 am

I guess none of you ever leave Menlo Park. High speed rail is widely used in Europe and Japan. But I forgot, you are the same people who didn't vote for BART.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 5, 2009 at 8:01 pm

We're Californians. Nothing makes us happier than borrowing huge amounts of money to be wasted on politicians and their friends.

Next time you see a child, apologize for their stolen future...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by half baked rail
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 5, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Railroad operators in the US aren't allowed to use the same kind of train cars that the HSR operators use in Europe and Japan. That's one reason that Acela has been such a fiasco.

Anyone else see the impartial legislative analysis of the HSR status? The project is full of holes, and non-compliant with the requests that the legislature has made. It will be interesting to see if anyone in our state legislature looks at the analysis. Looks pretty damning for the HSR folks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ina Line
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 7, 2009 at 9:53 am

No problem here in Calif. "Hey! How long is the wait at the DMV now?"


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Grab a Bowl of Heaven soon in Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 2,967 views

Don't fund the rape culture at my alma mater
By Jessica T | 36 comments | 2,862 views

Quick Check List for UC Applications
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 2,037 views

Palo Alto and Bay Area Election Facts and Thoughts on the Implications
By Steve Levy | 18 comments | 1,561 views

Fancy Fast and Fun!
By Laura Stec | 3 comments | 1,200 views