Newsom: ‘It’s California’s Money Now’ To Trump’s Demand That Abandoned Rail Project Funds Be Returned

California’s new Governor, Gavin Newsom, actually made a good financial decision (and, I might add, I thought perhaps it was accidental that he did make a good decision, which is rare for a liberal) that we talked a bit about in the article CA GOVERNOR NEWSOM ABANDONS L.A.-SAN FRANCISCO HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECT!.

The decision generated an unintended consequence, however. President Trump put out the demand that California repays the federal funds taken by the state for the now-abandoned project.

This from Breitbart:

President Donald Trump demanded Wednesday evening that the State of California return $3.5 billion in federal funds after Gov. Gavin Newsom canceled most of the state’s high-speed rail project, saying it was too expensive.

“California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars,” the president tweeted. “They owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now. Whole project is a “green” disaster!”

Newsom responded that it was “California’s money”:

Newsom devoted the opening portion of his first “State of the State” address Tuesday to attacking Trump and his policies on the border. Yet he then bowed to conservative criticism — and, arguably, to fiscal reality — by canceling the high-speed rail project championed by his predecessors.

The governor added that while the bullet train would no longer connect San Francisco and Los Angeles, as first envisioned, the state would still continue “phase one” of the project between the rural towns of Bakersfield and Merced. “I know that some critics will say this is a ‘train to nowhere,’” he said. “But that’s wrong and offensive.”

Newsom added that the state had to continue the project if it wanted to keep the federal funds it had taken: “I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump.”

The money was granted to California as part of President Barack Obama’s stimulus, which set aside “$8 billion in federal stimulus money to create 13 high-speed rail corridors,” the New York Times reported at the time.

Obama pressured states to take the cash — which Democrat-governed states eagerly did. But the Republican wave of 2010 brought new governors to office, and several rejected their state’s high-speed rail plans as costly and unnecessary.

California has already spent over $5 billion on the high-speed rail project — roughly the same amount that Trump had requested for the border wall.

Source: Breitbart News

I’ve had acquaintances that sound like the governor when it came to lending them money. They would promise to repay what they borrowed, but it never materialized. Once the money was in their hands, it was now “theirs,” and was never to be seen again by the lender. I bet Mr. Newsom didn’t anticipate that President Trump would call him out on this one.



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