In his open letter to President Trump, who is visiting California this week, Governor Jerry Brown highlighted the "world-class train system under construction."
That Gov. Brown would publicly laud a project that will likely be 40% over budget and perhaps a decade behind schedule has many scratching their heads.
That High-Speed Rail system Brown is referring to has been called a boondoggle and the "bullet train to nowhere."
A business plan released Friday by the California High-Speed Rail Authority shows its projected baseline cost is now $77 billion — up 20 percent from two years ago — and indicated the cost could rise to as high as $98 billion. The opening date for the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco bullet train has also been delayed by at least four years, to 2033.
Critics say Brown's penchant for grandiose statements in the face of contradictory facts, illustrates in part why many believe the Golden State is "in shambles."
Terry Jones wrote, "The reason for all this, economists largely agree, is the state's fast-growing budget and the tax and regulatory policies that feed it. This year, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who has led the state for 16 of the last 43 years, unveiled a 2018 budget calling for $179.5 billion in spending, a 53% increase since just 2010. And, in a surprise, Brown said he expects a $1.6 billion deficit, in large part because tax revenues are lower than expected."
"Worse, actual spending in California next year is expected to be closer to $284.5 billion, thanks mostly to $105 billion in federal spending in the state. Now home to one-third of all U.S. welfare recipients, millions of illegal immigrants, and a fast-growing Medicaid population, California depends on federal money for 37% of all its spending."
And, addressing that healthcare crisis with a single payer health approach could, experts say, push California off the fiscal cliff. Gavin Newsom, the front runner to replace Gov. Brown, wants California to go to single payer health care. Newsom announced that the cornerstone of his bid for California governor would now be a promise to pass and sign the Healthy California Act (SB-562).
Healthcare and financial experts have said single payer could cost the state $400 billion.
IMPACT OF NO PARTY PREFERENCE VOTERS?
Democratic strategist Gary South on the move to the left, "There is no question that the Democratic base has moved considerably to the left — I don't mean just in the last 10 or 20 years. I mean just in the past few years. And this isn't just the base that's moved to the left. It is the governing mechanism of the state Democratic Party that has moved considerably left, too. There's been a very substantial shift."
No Party Preference registered voters are surging in the polls in California and will be a much sought after voting bloc in the upcoming elections.
Both parties sense this and will be working hard to appeal to this important group of voters. Next week in fact, Republicans Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Kasich are launching "New Way California" in Los Angeles. It's an opportunity to appeal to these more moderate, sensible, Independent minded voters.
IVN will be attending the event and bringing you live coverage.