No money for Jerry Brown’s high-speed choo-choo?

March 19, 2017

Via Legal Insurrection:

A few, short weeks ago, I reported that President Trump’s Secretary of Transportation halted the transfer of millions of dollars in funding for the California bullet train, our governor’s legacy project.

However, those monies were not the sole source of funding. The main source of ongoing support for the train is the income from the cap-and-trade auctions that California sponsors.

It appears as if the all the air (carbon dioxide included) has gone out of the cap-and-trade market.

Let’s pause for a moment to contemplate that last sentence. What meaning can we draw from it? 

A boondoggle was being funded by a fraud.

I’ll let you read the rest of Leslie Eastman’s post if you wish, but here’s the summary: the governor and our leftist legislature tried to find alternate sources of funding for the high-speed rail project by granting it a share of revenues expected from our cap-and-trade auctions, established under Governor Schwarzenegger in a stupid quest to fight a problem that does not exist, catastrophic man-caused global warming.

But I digress.

The original funding has been tied up in lawsuits, and the Trump administration has already made it clear it’s not going to waste public money on this project. Thus the measure to divert cap-and-trade revenues. Only, for various reasons, no one is interested in buying the modern equivalent of Confederate war bonds. The auctions raise almost no revenue, threatening the viability of the high-speed railroad.

I call this a good thing.

I’ve inveighed against this stupid project before, so I’ll spare you another rant. California has many, many needs: our finances are a mess, our roads and highways are lousy, our schools are mediocre, and our dams are crumbling.

But Jerry Brown wants his legacy: a high-speed choo-choo that won’t meet the projected speeds and ridership, and is running way past projected costs.

As Victor Davis Hanson wrote:

Governors who cannot build a reservoir have little business fantasizing about 200-mph super trains.

Let’s hope the failure of the cap-and-trade auctions is the pinprick that finally bursts the Governor’s fantasy bubble.

h/t SteveinTN

PS: Speaking of aging infrastructure, we have another crumbling reservoir.

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Welfare, Taxes, the Nanny State, and Supply-Side Economics

March 10, 2017

Remember, welfare traps people in poverty. It’s not a hand helping you up: it’s a hand grabbing your ankle and holding you back.

International Liberty

What’s the right way to define good tax policy? There are several possible answers to that question, including the all-important observation that the goal should be to only collect the amount of revenue needed to finance the legitimate functions of government, and not one penny above that amount.

But what if we want a more targeted definition? A simple principle to shape our understanding of tax policy?

I’m partial to what I wrote last year.

the essential insight of supply-side economics…when you tax something, you get less of it.

I’m not claiming this is my idea, by the way. It’s been around for a long time.

Indeed, it’s rumored that Reagan shared a version of this wisdom.

I don’t know if the Gipper actually said those exact words, but his grasp of tax policy was very impressive. And the changes he made led to very good results

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