Tim Cavanaugh has a revealing and ultimately depressing piece at Reason about California's high-speed rail fiasco that includes this staggering factoid:
And that's just the bullet train's most recent pan. Earlier in the year, the state's legislative analyst's office noted that the Authority's plan contains no timeline and no specifics and that it "appears to violate the law" by using bond funds to subsidize its operations. (The Authority now claims to have corrected this problem, and it recently hired a $375,000-a-year CEO to help get the project on track.) Since 1996--twice as long as the Transcontinental Railroad took from approval to completion in the 1860s--the bullet train project has cost taxpayers more than $250 million, yet not one millimeter of track has been laid.
You blow two-hundred-fitty million, what do you get? Fourteen years older and deeper in debt.