First, three major CA cities, Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and San Bernardino, have declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
Second, the California legislature, approved the construction of a first phase of a high-speed rail line, a $69 billion project (before cost overruns). The first phase is only (only) $8 billion, but it runs simply into the desert. It will take the full allocation of funds to actually connect urban areas, and at present there is no funding plan even identified to pay for that.
The projected proceeded without a vote to spare. And the Senators who had most closely studied the project were unanimously against it. From the article:
In a dramatic monologue four years in the making, the key oversight senator on high-speed rail, Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, silenced the floor by finally announcing he was against the plan.
In fact, not one Democrat from the Senate's unofficial bullet train oversight group -- including Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, and Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach -- supported the project. Fran Pavley, D-Santa Monica, was the fourth Democrat who voted no.I suppose it is possible that the hey days of California will soon return, and irresponsible fiscal decisions will just be papered over as income outstrips the debt incurred. Even more likely in a state in tremendous fiscal straits, with a pension system underfunded to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, this seals the coffin of California as a fiscal basket case. Back to the article:
So, like Cincinnati that's up to hip boots in fiscal problems, including its own massive hole in the City pension plan, California's die is now cast for massive tax hikes and service cuts to pay for the excesses of their legislators.
"I believe this is a colossal fiscal train wreck for California," Strickland said. "This is spending money we don't have. We always tell our children, you can't spend more than you take in."