Runaway Train

By Bill Maher

Liberals love them some high speed rail. It feels like what modern countries have, and many of them in Europe and Asia do, so we want it. That way we can feel like we're modern, too. And building a high speed train from Los Angeles to San Francisco even makes sense, if only we could accomplish big projects like that and have them not run so over schedule and over budget that they end up making us a laughing stock.

But that's what's happened in California, where an initial cost estimate of $33 billion, the figure we all voted on in 2008, has grown as high as $98 billion. And we can't even get an agreement to start on the one piece of track everyone agrees is the easiest piece of the entire puzzle to solve. It's going to make the Big Dig (final cost, $22 billion, which won't be paid off until 2038) look like a trip to the dollar store.

Ninety-eight billion dollars. For a train that, if we're lucky, will be running by 2029.

Just over a week ago we learned that 52% of Californians think we should pull the plug on the project. Only 43% of them thought it should continue. Because $98 billion is a lot of money you can spend somewhere else. Isn't this one of those areas where liberals are going to have to "kill their darlings"?