Many people believe that the most trustworthy guardian of the economy is government, but even in the most public of government projects this facade is quickly worn down.
In a costly example of government spending run amok, the much-lauded Bay Area to Los Angeles high-speed rail tracks pushed by the money hungry state California are expected to cost $100 billion in total. For the planned 500 miles of track this comes out to $3000 per linear inch or $200 million per mile.
Reference from the project website: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/assets
The project will be funded by a combination of sources: local and federal tax payers who have no right to refuse surrendering thier money; future generations of holders of the dollar who will have to deal with the unpaid for debt; and treasury bond purchasers in the event of a default. Because this was partially funded by Barack Obama's stimulus package, all United States tax payers are paying for a portion of this project.
Further escallating the situation are suggestions that the project may be abandoned halfway through, at which point over $60 billion will have already been spent on this railway to no-where. Even if the project stays on schedule, it will not be completed until 2028. $125 train tickets will have to compete with $60 express jetliner tickets.
While investigations into corruption in the contracting process are underway, the project continues. Although the popularity of the project has plummeted in California, with 60% disapproving in latest polling, a large portion of the expenditure has been appropriated. In 16 years when the bullet train is slated to be fully operational, what will be its legacy?