Are you one of the 45.8% SLO idiots for Prop 1A?
45.8% of San Luis Obispo voters are complete idiots. At least. This is the number of voters that voted Yes to Prop 1A, the “Safe Reliable High Speed Passenger Train Bond Act.”
First of all, do you even know what a bond is? And do you know what financial shape California is in, much of which is due to the propensity of California voters to pass bond propositions time and time again? Here’s a little lesson: when the state sells bonds, it is not free money. The state sells the bonds and then over time, decades, the state has to pay interest on those bonds, and then finally the principal. It’s a tax, pure and simple, because when I say the state pays the interest, that means you and I, California taxpayers, pay the interest. Actually, it’s mostly your kids that will pay it down the line. And just how much does this particular one (and, yes, we passed other bond props!) cost? Here’s the analysis from SmartVoter.org:
Bond Costs. The costs of these bonds would depend on interest rates in effect at the time they are sold and the time period over which they are repaid. While the measure allows for bonds to be issued with a repayment period of up to 40 years, the state’s current practice is to issue bonds with a repayment period of up to 30 years. If the bonds are sold at an average interest rate of 5 percent, and assuming a repayment period of 30 years, the General Fund cost would be about $19.4 billion to pay off both principal ($9.95 billion) and interest ($9.5 billion). The average repayment for principal and interest would be about $647 million per year.
Operating Costs. When constructed, the high-speed train system will incur unknown ongoing maintenance and operation costs, probably in excess of $1 billion a year. Depending on the level of ridership, these costs would be at least partially, and potentially fully, offset by revenue from fares paid by passengers.
Not cheap huh?
And here is the really funny part, the part that should make you feel really stupid: It won’t even come to San Luis Obispo! It connects the San Francisco Transbay Terminal to Los Angeles Union Station and Anaheim, and links the state’s major population centers, including Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Valley, Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, Orange County, and San Diego. Yup, right by us.
Think about this next time your kid’s teacher has trouble finding the money to buy supplies for her class.