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dl3000 May 16, 2010 4:40 AM

Excellent question, anyone know?

Bootstrap Bill May 22, 2010 6:02 PM

Does anyone know if there is a construction schedule posted somewhere that shows the estimated completion dates of the various segments?

I'm especially interested in the Murrieta station. Is construction scheduled to begin this decade?

Onn May 22, 2010 8:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 4840778)
I don't mean to bash the Chinese but we have plenty of money to fight these wars but we have to beg China and other countries to fund our infrastructure? Some times you can't help but ask which is the developed country and which one is the developing country.

Don't fool yourself, China's broke as well. They don't have money for all this stuff they're building, it's all debt which will never be paid off. China’s created massive debt and property bubbles. Unlike here in the west, China's government is not as open about their finances. They've been hiding debt for possibly decades, the party isn't going last forever. There will likely be a major slowdown at some point where nothing big gets built in China for decades. Personally I don't think high-speed rail is the future of transportation either, it is very expensive to build a good system.

PragmaticIdealist May 23, 2010 8:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bootstrap Bill (Post 4849851)
Does anyone know if there is a construction schedule posted somewhere that shows the estimated completion dates of the various segments?

I'm especially interested in the Murrieta station. Is construction scheduled to begin this decade?

I recently read in a C.H.S.R. blog 2026 as a completion date for the L.A. to S.D. segment.

We need to fast-track this process. Southern California may not survive to 2026 without high-speed trains.

JDRCRASH May 23, 2010 7:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist (Post 4850544)
Southern California may not survive to 2026 without high-speed trains.

Dude, it may not survive to 2012.

StethJeff May 23, 2010 9:15 PM

Why is everyone freaking out? We'll just pay for the full system with the future funds generated by the California 2022 FIFA World Cup!! OK well maybe not, but that'd be sick though.

202_Cyclist May 27, 2010 4:13 PM

Rail officials eye airport (Burbank Leader)
 
[B]Rail officials eye airport[/B]

Transportation authority is considering a station at Bob Hope.

By Zain Shauk
May 22, 2010

http://www.burbankleader.com/news/bl...,1457681.story

High-speed rail representatives are strongly considering a stop near Bob Hope Airport as the sole San Fernando Valley station for the planned 800-mile system, local officials said.

Rail representatives early this year expressed a preference for station options in Burbank along the San Fernando Road corridor, either in the city's downtown area or near Glendale, on Alameda Avenue. But after hearing public concerns about connectivity to the airport, the authority is instead considering a stop near Bob Hope, at Hollywood Way, said David Kriske, Burbank's principal transportation planner.

"We're still kind of evaluating what that means for us," Kriske said.

Authority representatives have also reacted to local concerns about station locations with a plan to choose one stop in the San Fernando Valley, rather than two, as was previously discussed, said Jano Baghdanian, Glendale's traffic and transportation administrator….

pesto May 27, 2010 6:53 PM

Interesting! It seems to say that the DT Glendale and Burbank crowd plus anyone coming from Santa Clarita to take HSR from Sylmar is not worth worrying about.

Conversely, a non-stop connection from DT to Burbank Airport makes the air trip from DT LA to the Bay Area or LV or other air destinations even quicker. It means you can run the HSR as far as Palmdale, get a great regional system, and then end it (even though I’m sure this isn’t what HSR has in mind). It's a shame they won't tunnel over to the airport itself and make seemless connections.

I guess the DT Burbank and Glendale stops can be handled by local transit (trolley?) or left as is.

mwadswor May 29, 2010 6:03 AM

Quote:

Electric train plan granted key waiver

By Mike Rosenberg
San Mateo County Times
Posted: 05/27/2010 08:14:57 PM PDT

Caltrain officials have convinced federal safety authorities to allow quick European-style electric trains to zip from San Francisco to San Jose, a national first that paves the way for fast electric commuter and high-speed trains in the Bay Area and around the country.

Although common in Europe, the smaller electric trains are illegal in the United States because federal officials have long considered them too small, poorly designed and unsafe. But after three years of tests and research, Caltrain will become the first railroad in the nation to use the technology after being granted a waiver, a copy of which was obtained by the Bay Area News Group, on Thursday.

Caltrain will essentially be a pilot operation for the trains, called electric multiple units. If successful, commuter railroads and planned high-speed rail networks throughout the nation would have access to cheaper, greener and faster trains.
Quote:

The waiver allows all passenger trains, whether diesel or electric, to run on the same tracks. Freight locomotives can continue to operate in the wee hours while passenger trains are parked.
http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula...nclick_check=1
:dancingbacon :dancingbacon :dancingbacon

peanut gallery May 29, 2010 4:02 PM

Great news! This was mentioned later in the article:

Quote:

Doty said the electric cars passed each safety test laid out by the FRA, which had never tested its assumption that the European cars were less safe.

"In every case, the equipment we wanted to bring in was equal to or better than what's running in the United States today," he said.
So, the FRA had no data and just made this blanket decision to force inferior products on American passenger rail? How arrogant and insular. It's no wonder our rail system is so behind other nations.

Gordo May 29, 2010 5:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mwadswor (Post 4858259)
http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula...nclick_check=1
:dancingbacon :dancingbacon :dancingbacon

This is easily the biggest and best news to come for American passenger rail in 50 years. Great job, Caltrain.

Busy Bee May 29, 2010 6:00 PM

Quote:

Doty said the electric cars passed each safety test laid out by the FRA, which had never tested its assumption that the European cars were less safe.

"In every case, the equipment we wanted to bring in was equal to or better than what's running in the United States today," he said.
I find this quite surprising and at the same time not surprising at all.

This is a huge step forward though. It seems dramatic progress in new service and improved existing service nationwide could come from this. Excellent news! Made my Saturday!

M II A II R II K Jul 2, 2010 3:29 PM

Time to change the map on high speed rail?


06/29/2010

By Thomas D. Elias

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/liv...ticle_logo.gif

Read More: http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_154062...nclick_check=1

Quote:

Here's a question for the California High-Speed Rail Authority: How about cutting out the most expensive parts of your current plan — which also happen to be the most controversial — while leaving its essence intact? That's a question no one on the board making the plans for this putative system has answered, or even been asked. As it now stands, the estimated cost of this project is $43 billion, but state voters have approved "only" $9.95 billion in bonds, while the federal government has committed $2.25 billion. It's anybody's guess where the rest of the money might come from (the project's board hopes for more federal money and plenty of private financing, but has yet to arrange any). Plus, anyone who thinks building a 238-mph rail system stretching from San Diego through Los Angeles to Sacramento and San Francisco will come in at or under budget is probably hallucinating.

That, at least, is implied in a springtime report by state Auditor Elaine M. Howle, who told the governor and the Legislature that "The High-Speed Rail Authority has not adequately planned for the future development of the program & the program risks significant delays without more well-developed plans for obtaining funds." This, of course, didn't keep the authority from hiring a French/South African executive with experience running high-speed systems in Europe as its chief executive at $375,000 per year, plus a housing allowance. The auditor's report, scathing as it was, did not even take up the question of local opposition to the current plan, currently strongest on the Peninsula but rising in the Anaheim-Los Angeles corridor and other metropolitan areas.

So why not do a little reassessing, especially in light of the High-Speed Rail Authority's own report of last winter, which amounted to a bait-and-switch on the voters who approved the state bonds for this project by a 52-48 percent margin two years ago? That report raised the estimated year-2035 fare for the San Francisco-Los Angeles run from the $55 projected in ballot materials two years ago to $105. Nearly doubling the fare would cut the pool of likely riders by about one-third. And yet those eliminated riders, plus taxpayers in parts of the state far from the high-speed trains, are still on the hook for repaying the bonds, if and when they are sold.

pesto Jul 2, 2010 7:57 PM

A good addition to the discussion. This article addresses the two issues that will kill HSR if not dealt with: cost and local opposition.

The idea to avoid the Peninsula makes a lot of sense: it isn't wanted and isn't needed (Caltrain already has a very good rail service). The idea of coming into East Bay (say, Hayward, which has rail and BART connections) also makes a lot of sense. Not only is East Bay much more populated than SF, but it is well suited for connections to SJ, SF and the Pleasanton-Walnut Creek-Concord corridor, which is large and growing rapidly.

Personally, I would cut out the Central Valley for the first go-round and see how it fills in before building there. But this approach is also interesting.

Gordo Jul 2, 2010 10:45 PM

We've been over this before a hundred times. The East Bay route is not easier (you think they'd really be ok with it coming through their backyard if it were actually being discussed?) and the idea that a route not reaching SF or LA wins a STATEWIDE proposition is laughable. Political feasibility is not a important factor in determining the scope of a project like this, it's THE important factor. Must be a slow day at the Merc.

202_Cyclist Jul 3, 2010 12:37 PM

Here's Robert Cruickshank's discussion of this from the CA HSR Blog.

Why High Speed Rail Should Remain At High Speed

http://www.cahsrblog.com/2010/06/why...at-high-speed/

M II A II R II K Jul 5, 2010 2:23 PM

High-speed rail ridership estimate doubted


July 2, 2010

Michael Cabanatuan

Read More: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BA051E8DR3.DTL

Quote:

Ridership forecasts used by the California High Speed Rail Authority to help plan the statewide fast train system are unreliable, according to a UC Berkeley study released Thursday. The report, ordered by the state Senate Transportation and Housing Committee but paid for by the High-Speed Rail Authority, found that the statistical process used to calculate ridership projections was seriously flawed and inconsistent.

"The forecast of ridership is unlikely to be very close to the ridership that would actually materialize if the system were built," said Samer Madanat, director of the Institute for Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley. "I can't tell you if the numbers would be over or under, but they would be far from an accurate prediction."

The rail authority, which is charged with building the 800-mile system, including a $43 billion initial line between San Francisco and Anaheim, will discuss the report and the projections at its meeting Thursday in Los Angeles. The report's authors and representatives of Cambridge Systematics, the firm that produced the projections, will participate.

Despite the conclusions of the UC Berkeley study, authority spokesman Jeff Barker stood behind the agency's reliance on the study in planning the system, which is still undergoing mandated environmental studies and selections of precise alignments and station locations.

202_Cyclist Jul 9, 2010 7:19 PM

Atherton resident Meg Whitman not too keen on bullet train (Sacramento Bee)
 
Another reason not to vote for eMeg.


Atherton resident Meg Whitman not too keen on bullet train


Jul. 9, 2010 - 12:00 am | Page 3A
Sacramento Bee

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/07/09/287...ident-meg.html

Five cities on the San Francisco Peninsula have called for suspending planning for the state's high-speed train project until environmental and economic issues are resolved.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority's proposed route runs from San Francisco to San Jose down the peninsula, where affluent communities have become a hotbed of opposition.

Menlo Park Mayor Richard Cline, chairman of the Peninsula Cities Consortium, has complained that the authority is rushing to complete a route plan and draft environmental impact report so that construction can start by September 2012 in order to qualify the state for $2.25 billion in federal funds.

The consortium's demand follows a report by the University of California's Institute of Transportation Studies that's highly critical of the authority's projections of ridership on the bullet train, which would link Northern and Southern California.

Besides Menlo Park, the consortium includes Palo Alto, Burlingame, Belmont and Atherton.

And what is Atherton resident Meg Whitman's take on the project?

"Meg believes the state cannot afford the costs associated with high-speed rail due to our current fiscal crisis," said the Republican gubernatorial candidate's spokeswoman Sarah Pompei in an e-mailed statement.

– Dan Walters and Micaela Massimino

JDRCRASH Jul 9, 2010 10:41 PM

If we use her logic, wouldn't that mean that this project would NEVER get built?

PragmaticIdealist Jul 9, 2010 11:50 PM

There's a reason she and Dick Cheney are as thick as thieves.

202_Cyclist Jul 23, 2010 4:02 PM

High-speed train would create equivalent of 50,000 one-year construction jobs -LV Sun
 
High-speed train would create equivalent of 50,000 one-year construction jobs

Most permanent jobs would be based in Victorville, Calif.

http://photos.lasvegassun.com/media/...b3328710e01e7b

A model of a proposed Las Vegas station is displayed during a news conference for the DesertXpress high-speed rail project Thursday, March 25, 2010.

By Richard N. Velotta
Friday, July 23, 2010

When the DesertXpress high-speed train is built, there would be up to 700 permanent jobs at an operations and maintenance facility — in Victorville, Calif.

Tom Stone, president of DesertXpress Enterprises LLC, told representatives of the Associated General Contractors at a lunch Thursday that building the privately funded, $4 billion traditional high-speed rail system would create 50,000 person-year construction jobs over the four-year design and construction period expected to begin late this year.

Translated, 50,000 person-year jobs is the equivalent of 50,000 people working for a full year. The statistic illustrates the vast number and diverse types of jobs — planners, architects, draftsmen, engineers, construction workers, electricians and other specialists — that will be created over the course of the project.

But the bulk of the permanent operations jobs would be in Victorville, the southern terminus of 185-mile double-track system.

Stone said the decision to build the primary maintenance facility, which would include an operations control center, a train-washing facility, repair shop, parts storage, track storage, meeting rooms and administrative offices, was based on the availability of a 200 acre-plus, narrow piece of land in California....

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010...ent-50000-con/

pricemazda Jul 23, 2010 4:34 PM

can someone tell me the top speed and average cruising speed of the proposals?

202_Cyclist Jul 23, 2010 4:58 PM

According to the DesertXpress website, the top speed is 150 mph.

http://www.desertxpress.com/technology.php

Gordo Jul 23, 2010 5:11 PM

^And the CAHSR project (not discussed in the article above, but in the rest of the thread) is a 220mph top speed project. I don't know what the average speed will be.

pricemazda Jul 23, 2010 5:28 PM

Top speeds usually mean what it's capable of travelling, they rarely get up to top speed. When you take in gradients, turns and urban areas, tunnels and so on, which all reduce speed even with advanced engineering.

That's why I was asking what average speeds will be.

Gordo Jul 23, 2010 5:45 PM

^Understood. 220mph is the planned operational top speed of the CAHSR system, which it will cruise at in the Central Valley. Once it enters the mountainous areas around the Bay Area and LA area, speeds will be lower. I have no idea what top speed capability will be, because the trains haven't been chosen yet, but with a 220mph operational top speed advertised, I would assume that the trains will be capable of much, much higher in closed environments.

Busy Bee Jul 23, 2010 5:46 PM

Well this is almost entirely running through desert, so I don't see how they would have too many variables that would drive the average speed down. I'm quite surprised because of this they aren't shooting for CAHSR's goal of 220 mph for the DesertXpress program. Seems like the faster, the better. Am I wrong?

mwadswor Jul 23, 2010 6:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pricemazda (Post 4922885)
Top speeds usually mean what it's capable of travelling, they rarely get up to top speed. When you take in gradients, turns and urban areas, tunnels and so on, which all reduce speed even with advanced engineering.

That's why I was asking what average speeds will be.

Probably not too far off the top speed after acceleration/deceleration. The area they're looking at from Victorville to Las Vegas is very flat, has a very straight route, is pretty flat, and is very rural.

mwadswor Jul 23, 2010 6:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4922908)
Well this is almost entirely running through desert, so I don't see how they would have too many variables that would drive the average speed down. I'm quite surprised because of this they aren't shooting for CAHSR's goal of 220 mph for the DesertXpress program. Seems like the faster, the better. Am I wrong?

Agreed. To their credit, I believe they are designing the system to be able to handle 220 mph, but they're saving money by only looking at trainsets capable of 150 mph. Remember that DesertXpress is privately funded at this point and not associated with CAHSR, they have less money to spend.

HarshLiving Jul 23, 2010 6:50 PM

I really want this project to become a reality. It may not be very beneficial in the next few years, but believe this project will be great success in the future,

Busy Bee Jul 23, 2010 7:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mwadswor (Post 4922934)
Agreed. To their credit, I believe they are designing the system to be able to handle 220 mph, but they're saving money by only looking at trainsets capable of 150 mph. Remember that DesertXpress is privately funded at this point and not associated with CAHSR, they have less money to spend.

Yeah but c'mon, look at that freaking station... and they're trying to save money on trainsets? Hmmm.

Furthermore, would an airline employ this strategy?

jamesinclair Jul 24, 2010 5:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4923023)
Yeah but c'mon, look at that freaking station... and they're trying to save money on trainsets? Hmmm.

Furthermore, would an airline employ this strategy?

Airlines usually lease their planes. Train companies rarely ever lease their vehicles.

Busy Bee Jul 24, 2010 1:38 PM

Regardless of lease or own, you know the point I'm trying to make.

JDRCRASH Jul 24, 2010 7:37 PM

At least the maglev project is obtaining the FEIR and searching for funding for their WHOLE project (despite the fact that it, too, will be built in sections), while DesertXpress has considered the initial Victorville-Las Vegas leg and the Palmdale extension 2 separate projects.

OhioGuy Jul 28, 2010 10:49 PM

Most Californians want bullet trains, state poll finds

Quote:

Although nearly half of Californians have reservations about paying for the state's high-speed rail line, three-fourths of them want to be able to ride bullet trains between the Bay Area and Southern California, a poll released Tuesday shows.

Pollsters hired by the California High-Speed Rail Authority asked 806 registered voters in May whether the state should continue with the largest project in its history, a $43 billion bullet train line approved during the November 2008 election.

One-third said it should be built as quickly as possible, 13 percent said they don't want it built at all, and 11 percent were unsure.

The most, 42 percent, said they supported the concept of building the high-speed railroad "but have some concerns about the timing and costs of the project," the pollsters said.

The results were even more positive in the Bay Area, where 277 residents were surveyed. Forty percent wanted it built quickly, six percentage points higher than the statewide total. Just 10 percent wanted it derailed, three points lower than the California average.

Pollsters said that may be because 80 percent of Bay Area residents said they knew details of the project, compared to 72 percent statewide.

pesto Jul 28, 2010 11:42 PM

The rest of the article notes that this was a loaded, for-hire poll that played up the advantages of HSR before the respondents answered. It is part of an $8.5M PR campaign funded by HSR.

The opponents noted this is shockingly low for a "push poll" which is intended to give overwhelming support for a proposal.

Nice to see where our HSR money is really going.

202_Cyclist Jul 31, 2010 2:08 PM

California will ask feds for up to $1 billion for high-speed rail (SJ Mercury)
 
I thought there would be a high speed rail station directly at SFO, not requiring a transfer on BART, as mentioned below.

By opposing high speed rail, eMeg would rather have the state pass up this much-needed money that would create thousands of good jobs, improve mobility for CA residents, and reduce emissions. Meg Whitman can spend a $100M to try to buy the election this November but she is wrong on the issues. Hopefully voters will not be fooled.


California will ask feds for up to $1 billion for high-speed rail

By Mike Rosenberg
San Mateo County Times
Posted: 07/30/2010 10:18:02 PM PDT



"The state will ask the federal government for $700 million to $1 billion to help build a California high-speed railroad, including cash for projects in the Bay Area.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority said Friday the application will include funds to electrify the planned railroad from San Francisco to San Jose along the Caltrain corridor. It also requests money to build a high-speed train station in Millbrae, where passengers could transfer to BART to reach San Francisco International Airport.

The application also includes projects in the Central Valley and Los Angeles.

The Obama administration made $2.3 billion available in the budget this year for states to plan and construct high-speed train systems. The rail authority and Caltrans will finalize the amount of the state's request before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger submits an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation next week...

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-...nclick_check=1

electricron Aug 1, 2010 11:55 PM

I'm all for the Federal government helping California build it's planned HSR network, but I'm not necessarily for California consuming half the Federal rail capital building budget every year.....

Onn Aug 2, 2010 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 4932498)
I'm all for the Federal government helping California build it's planned HSR network, but I'm not necessarily for California consuming half the Federal rail capital building budget every year.....

Better to go big than piddle little projects, like what the Stimulus Package was filled with. With the money in the Stimulus Package we could have easily paid for this entire thing. :no:

penfold Aug 2, 2010 2:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Onn (Post 4932541)
Better to go big than piddle little projects, like what the Stimulus Package was filled with. With the money in the Stimulus Package we could have easily paid for this entire thing. :no:

Unfortunately in order to negotiate for Republican support (which disappeared once the vote came) an enormous amount of actual construction ("waste" it was called) was eliminated and replaced by temporary tax cuts (for "growth".) I'd like to think the same mistake won't be made next time, but there most likely won't be a next time.

202_Cyclist Aug 2, 2010 3:02 AM

Quote:

Unfortunately in order to negotiate for Republican support (which disappeared once the vote came) an enormous amount of actual construction ("waste" it was called) was eliminated and replaced by temporary tax cuts (for "growth".) I'd like to think the same mistake won't be made next time, but there most likely won't be a next time.
Exactly right-- approximately $200B - $300B of the stimulus was for tax cuts and another $200B - $300B was for aid to state/local govts so they wouldn't have to layoff as many teachers, police, firefighters, etc... The Republicans are so shameless and blatantly hypocritical on this. It is absolutely disgusting. I suppose because this Recovery Act was proposed by and signed into law by Obama, tax cuts are considered socialism now. Equally hypocritical are the GOP members of Congress who bash the stimulus every chance they get and in the very next breath complain that the money isn't being spent fast enough or their district/state isn't getting enough funding. The GO(B)P is rotten to the core.

Here's a chart showing spending from the Recovery Act:

http://projects.nytimes.com/44th_president/stimulus

DJM19 Aug 2, 2010 3:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 4932498)
I'm all for the Federal government helping California build it's planned HSR network, but I'm not necessarily for California consuming half the Federal rail capital building budget every year.....

I think its better to let one or two states projects get built using most of the available funds (leaving enough for the rest to stay afloat and do some pre-construction) so that when a big rail-investment bill is introduced, there will be no question that HSR is a good investment.

electricron Aug 2, 2010 6:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJM19 (Post 4932666)
I think its better to let one or two states projects get built using most of the available funds (leaving enough for the rest to stay afloat and do some pre-construction) so that when a big rail-investment bill is introduced, there will be no question that HSR is a good investment.

There would be no available Federal funds if the allocations aren't distributed nationally. Did the Interstate Highway funds get distributed to one or two states first? No, because if the Highway funds weren't allocated nationally, there would be no Highway Trust Fund.

JDRCRASH Aug 2, 2010 3:05 PM

Electricron, as long as we have unfinished systems, it will be considered "wasteful spending" by a certain political party.

JDRCRASH Aug 2, 2010 3:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 4932659)
Exactly right-- approximately $200B - $300B of the stimulus was for tax cuts and another $200B - $300B was for aid to state/local govts so they wouldn't have to layoff as many teachers, police, firefighters, etc... The Republicans are so shameless and blatantly hypocritical on this. It is absolutely disgusting. I suppose because this Recovery Act was proposed by and signed into law by Obama, tax cuts are considered socialism now. Equally hypocritical are the GOP members of Congress who bash the stimulus every chance they get and in the very next breath complain that the money isn't being spent fast enough or their district/state isn't getting enough funding. The GO(B)P is rotten to the core.

Here's a chart showing spending from the Recovery Act:

http://projects.nytimes.com/44th_president/stimulus

We don't even need to debate whether the stimulus did it's job and was worth the $787 Billion it cost. The fact that monthly job losses have cratered since it was passed is proof that it was a big help, regardless if the jobs it created were temporary. I've completely had it with Republicans. They do not see the difference between investing in the future and investing in a war. Their party might just be the one that permanantly ends America's leading role in the world.

electricron Aug 3, 2010 1:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 4932932)
Electricron, as long as we have unfinished systems, it will be considered "wasteful spending" by a certain political party.

Come on, a LA to SD leg, or a LA to Anaheim leg shouldn't be considered unfinished. The entire CHSR project is made up of individual legs, one doesn't have to finish all of them to finish it. Besides, no rail project should ever be considered finished.

pesto Aug 3, 2010 2:01 AM

Some pretty interesting points. A couple of comments:

The stimulus package was an almost complete waste of money. Essentially no effect since the public (quite rightly) is too scared of what the government might do next to start spending any money they earn. The biggest US companies and I have one thing in common: we are hanging on to our cash until the next election restores some fiscal rationality and a consistent economic policy. That's just about all a government needs to do.

Having said that, large projects would have made even less sense since the idea of the stimulus (erroneous as it was) was to pump money into many places very quickly so as to stimulate current spending. Large localized projects don't accomplish that.

Tax cuts tend to go to a mixture of reduction of debt (which is net saving) and spending. This is likely to translate in stronger long-term growth. One could argue that this was a last ditch effort to bring the US back to world competitiveness instead of encouraging spending and paying for it with debt, which certainly hurts the long-term economic welfare.

emathias Aug 3, 2010 2:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 4933518)
...
The stimulus package was an almost complete waste of money. Essentially no effect since the public (quite rightly) is too scared of what the government might do next to start spending any money they earn. The biggest US companies and I have one thing in common: we are hanging on to our cash until the next election restores some fiscal rationality and a consistent economic policy. That's just about all a government needs to do.

Having said that, large projects would have made even less sense since the idea of the stimulus (erroneous as it was) was to pump money into many places very quickly so as to stimulate current spending. Large localized projects don't accomplish that.

Tax cuts tend to go to a mixture of reduction of debt (which is net saving) and spending. This is likely to translate in stronger long-term growth. One could argue that this was a last ditch effort to bring the US back to world competitiveness instead of encouraging spending and paying for it with debt, which certainly hurts the long-term economic welfare.

What on EARTH have you been smoking?

Leaving aside Obama vs. the Republicans, I seriously doubt you can cite a single example of tax cuts reducing debt (unless other taxes have also been raised).

I also seriously doubt that U.S. companies are going to hold onto cash for years rather than make investments now soley due to an Administration. Lack of investment now has been primarily due to 1) lack of lending liquidity brought on by the collapse of the financial system brought on by excessive liquidity and a lack of oversight, all of which was brought on by BOTH Bush and Clinton policies and 2) a complete lack of certainty over if and when the economy will recover, a question that is still up in the air not because of Obama, whose policies as they are in effect currently aren't materially different from Bush's, but because of item 1) and, partly, the national debt which will REQUIRE either an increase in taxes to balance or a default (real or virtual). Of the two, a tax increase is - by far - the better choice.

The debt is no more Obama's than it is Bush's or Clinton's. It is cumulative and responsiblity for it is shared by every Administration and Congress since at least Nixon. Any party that attempts to pin the responsibility on the other instead of facing the music and doing what needs to be done is appallingly irresponsible.

When debt hits 120% of GDP sometime this decade, we would no only have to stop adding to it, but to "grow" out of it back to a 40% level, we would have to not add to it and grow at 5% annually for about 15 years. Could that happen? Maybe, but it's highly unlikely that we could BOTH grow that fast AND keep our hands off the deficit button, no matter which party is in power. If we also ratchet down immigration at the same time (which, at times, both sides seem to favor), the chances of that sort of growth is even lower.

So quit supporting blowhards who try and blame all the evils on this administration or the last one, and start supporting people who actually support realistic policy. Which will, unfortunately, include tax hikes.

202_Cyclist Aug 3, 2010 3:53 AM

pesto:
Quote:

The biggest US companies and I have one thing in common: we are hanging on to our cash until the next election restores some fiscal rationality and a consistent economic policy.
This discussion is digressing but this is exactly why yet more tax cuts are not an effective way to stimulate the economy. Many people, especially the most affulent save a large percentage of their income and can be expected to save a significant part of any tax cut.

As noted this morning by Fareed Zakaria in today's (Monday) Washington Post, Clinton raised taxes on the wealthiest households in the early 1990s and this was followed by a decade of very robust growth. Bush enacted massive tax cuts the last decade and we had sluggish growth, at best.

Far more effective for stimulating economic growth is aid to state/local govts so they don't have to lay off employees (police, firefighters, teachers), extending assistance for the unemployed (who will spend nearly all of the assistance they receive, putting this money back into the economy, and yes, public works/infrastructure projects.

202_Cyclist Aug 5, 2010 9:39 PM

Cities, residents voicing concerns about possible high speed route line along 10 Free
 
Cities, residents voicing concerns about possible high speed route line along 10 Freeway

By Dan Abendschein Staff Writer
Posted: 08/04/2010
Pasadena Star-News

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/liv...5-RAIl_500.jpg
Rosemead council member, Sandra Armenta, center, with neighbors and a map of the affected area at Olney street and Lashbrook Ave. along the 10 Freeway corridor where commercial businesses and residential homes could be torn down due to the construction of the California High Speed Rail project on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 in Rosemead. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham/SXCITY)

"Some cities in the path of a proposed high speed rail line through the San Gabriel Valley are lining up against the project's potential to displace homes and businesses.

Rosemead earlier this year passed a resolution opposing any route that would displace property owners, while Alhambra city officials are scheduled to meet Monday to discuss the project. Officials will consider a resolution opposing a route along surface streets.

Covina City Manager Daryl Parrish said he also has concerns about the proposed routes.

The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, meanwhile, is set to vote next Wednesday on a motion to oppose a surface route for the project.

"The bottom line is that everybody needs to be informed," said Rosemead City Councilwoman Sandra Armenta, whose home is in one of the areas under consideration for the proposed route.

Armenta, who has lived in her home for 32 years, said most of her neighbors no nothing about the rail project.

"They are painting this picture that everybody is in support of this. But people don't even know it could affect them," she said..."

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_15678540


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