Trump Sticks It to California.
It’s no secret that I am not a fan of our president. I will admit, however, that after Mr. Trump’s election in 2016, I was hopeful that his pledge to rebuild the country’s infrastructure was not just another politician’s empty campaign promise and that it could actually be a boon for passenger rail in our country.
Lord knows, we need a new commitment to our national infrastructure. It’s been neglected and is in bad shape and that statement cannot be disputed. We are all aware—or perhaps I should say that we all should be aware—that some 60,000 bridges in this country are in need of repair and are potentially unsafe. And that’s just for openers.
The term “infrastructure” should include an expanded and improved passenger rail system. That would include Amtrak, of course, but also commuter lines and transit systems. And it would certainly include California’s high-speed rail project.
But California voters are on President Trump’s Find-a-Way-to-Screw-Them list for preferring Hillary by several million votes and for electing a governor and a legislature that zigged when Trump thought they should have zagged on issues such as Sanctuary Cities, wild fire mitigation, border control, clean air standards, and . . . Well, it’s a long list.
Trump is now demanding his ten pounds of flesh from California. The Federal Railroad Administration, an agency within the Department of Transportation which is run by Trump appointee Elaine Chao (aka Mrs. Mitch McConnell), has formally served notice that the Trump Administration wants the State of California to return the $2.5 billion that had been awarded to California for its high-speed rail project. For the feds to demand their money back on a project that a federal agency had already approved is unprecedented.
It also smacks of petty vindictiveness and a complete disregard for any consequences, which leaves no doubt as to its origin. What a mess we’re in!