Right-Wing Calls HSR A Boondoggle To Deflect From Own Boondoggle
The rabidly anti-tax Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is running ads calling high speed rail “the largest boondoggle in American history.” Their goal is to stir public outrage about HSR in order to defeat Prop 30, Governor Jerry Brown’s tax proposal:
“Sacramento politicians have turned their backs on education and public safety and voted to waste billions on the largest boondoggle in American history,” Jon Coupal, president of the association, says in the minute-long ad. “These same politicians are using scare tactics to force tax increases on the working people of California. While they push for more taxes, frivolous spending and political cronyism, they ignore desperately needed reforms to education, pensions and spending.”
This is pretty typical right-wing stuff from HJTA. The attempt to claim HSR comes at the expense of schools and public safety, when in fact it benefits the state budget and those services, is a standard trope of people who are ideologically opposed to public spending.
But the bigger irony is that the HJTA is responsible for one of the biggest boondoggles to actually hit California. Proposition 13, authored by Howard Jarvis himself, gutted California’s schools and public safety. It has cost the state tens of billions of dollars, undermining the middle class which depends on public services in order to find financial security. California’s budget would be in solid shape were it not for Prop 13 and its effects.
California has tried it HJTA’s way for nearly 35 years. It’s time to return to the tried and true method of using infrastructure to stimulate lasting economic growth.