POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION (National, State): California high-speed rail project, 2016 presidential election?: Commentary (George Skelton), "Gov. Jerry Brown's best hope for high-speed rail? A Donald Trump presidency" ....
* Los Angeles Times (George Skelton): "Gov. Jerry Brown's best hope for high-speed rail? A Donald Trump presidency" - From the LAT:
Gov. Jerry Brown badly needs a financial angel to salvage his sputtering bullet train. Nobody ever dreamed it might be Donald Trump. But Brown and Trump share at least one viewpoint: High-speed rail is needed for America’s transportation future.
In March, Brown said of the Republican presidential candidate, who promises to build a wall to protect the U.S.-Mexico border: “If Trump were ever elected, we’d have to build a wall around California to defend ourselves from the rest of the country.” Think again, governor. He could be just the right guy for one of your legacy projects. As president, Trump conceivably could pry billions of dollars from Congress for the grossly underfunded and unpopular California bullet train.
Trump, as far as I know, has never specifically embraced the $64-billion plan to build a 500-mile high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco, currently the nation’s largest public works project. But he has extolled high-speed rail. “China and these other countries, they have super-speed trains,” he told the Guardian last year. “We have nothing. This country has nothing. We are like the third world. But we will get it going and we will do it properly and, as I say, make America great again.” Trump basically repeated that in a March campaign speech: “[The Chinese] have trains that go 300 miles per hour. We have trains that go chug-chug-chug.”
In his nomination acceptance speech last week at the GOP convention, the billionaire developer promised to build “the railways of tomorrow.” Of course, he also pledged to build highways, bridges, tunnels and airports. Additionally, he vowed, “we will completely rebuild our depleted military.” Plus build the wall. And beef up law enforcement. That’s quite a spending spree for someone who simultaneously assures voters they’ll get a large tax cut.
So pardon me for being skeptical about any Trump dollars for the choo-choo. But no one else is even talking about more bullet-train bucks.
Clinton — endorsed by Brown before the California primary — also supports high-speed rail. But as president, she would have virtually no chance of persuading a Republican-controlled House to spend money on a blue state bullet train. Trump plausibly might. Without more federal funds, the train seems headed for derailment. Maybe it is even with additional Washington largess ..................