Your Tax Money at Work – Los Angeles

We quote without comment from a Los Angeles Daily News front page story:

“After spending more than $154 million for a system of locking turnstiles and electronic payment cards for the county transit system, officials are discovering that at least a third of the money may have been wasted because they can’t use the new devices  as planned.” Troy Anderson, Daily News, Aug. 22, 2010, at p. A1.

And why would they install locking electronic turnstiles now, when the subway has been in operation for years? Answer: because the numbskulls who designed that system made it an “honor system” — passegers were on their honor to buy tickets, but if they didn’t no one would stop them from becoming literal free riders by just walking in, sittting down, and going to their destination, with an estimated annual loss to MTA of $13 million. So the MTA folks had to institute roving patrols to check passengers’ tickets on moving subway trains. But that cost money too, so they decided to put in those electronic turnstiles that don’t work and can’t be used.

Your tax money at work.

To get the whole Daily News story go to

Welcome to California where the supreme court says that in eminent domain cases we can’t pay just compensation to condemnees for all their economic losses because if we do an “embargo”  on public projects will have to be declared. That would mean that the MTA wouldn’t be able to waste gazillions of the taxpayers’ dollars on turnstiles that don’t work.

And did we mention the recent news that the Los Angeles school district is completing a new Taj Mahal of a high school for over a half-billion dollars? That’s for one high school. Not bad for a school system that fails to graduate half its students.

Like we said: your tax money at work.

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