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February 19, 2019 | Trump Takes Aim at a ‘Green Disaster’

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

If you’re a taxpayer, you may have something to celebrate soon. On an otherwise dull news day, there was word Tuesday evening that President Trump would attempt to claw back as much as $3.4 billion in earmarks and grants for California’s high-speed rail project. The line was originally conceived as a link between San Francisco and Los Angeles, but this was never more than pipe dream — a guaranteed boondoggle that had as much chance of completion as a sky-bus shuttle to Mars.

Huge cost overruns and delays have caused California to scale back on the line so that it connects, not big cities and millions of commuters, but the sparse, Central Valley citizenries of West Podunk and Palookaville (see inset).  That sounds do-able — mere tens of billions of dollars will probably suffice — but it supposedly would be cheaper to buy a Honda Prius for each and every person who might conceivably use the rail system.

Throwing Good Money After Bad

California Gov. Gavin Newsom will undoubtedly sue to hold onto Federal dollars that have been allotted so far, and he will claim that the project, although drastically reduced, is still worth finishing. For his part, Trump tweeted on Feb. 13 “We want that money back now. Whole project is a ‘green’ disaster!” It surely is that, and even if the funds go unsurrendered, it will be entertaining and enlightening to see the project exposed for the grandiose ‘green’ scandal that it is.

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February 19th, 2019

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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