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Capitol Journal: Hit the brakes on the bullet train

January 09, 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown was right on track when he told reporters at his budget unveiling that "We've got to bite the bullet."

It was the perfect choice of a word. But, of course, Brown didn't mean "bullet" the way I wanted him to.

Brown was talking about sucking it up and again butchering programs for welfare families and the aged, blind and disabled.

And if voters refuse to pass his tax increases in November, he'll try to whack education from kindergarten through graduate school while crippling courts and even eliminating lifeguards at beaches.

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But the governor also should have been applying the brakes to the ill-planned bullet train that he covets.

"We have to hold the line on spending and make the tough cuts," he said in proposing a $137.3-billion budget for the next fiscal year, including $92.6 billion for the deficit-plagued general fund.

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-- George

A freight train rolls past the Buena Park Metrolink station. Officials say upgrades could allow bullet trains to share rails already in use. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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