The Wall Street Journal reports that the proceeds of a multistate settlement of state lawsuits over banks’ alleged foreclosure abuses have been put to uses that have nothing to do with foreclosures, mortgages, or banks. Nearly forty percent of the states’ $2.5 billion recovery has ended up in the states’ general funds, either to plug holes in state budgets or to start new boondoggles. Three of the top ten settling states (California, Georgia, and New Jersey) have put their entire recovery to this use. California alone plunked its $410 million recovery in the general fund, where it has since disappeared.
The Washington Post reports that federal-state plans for a high-speed train connecting San Francisco with Los Angles and points in-between may never come off the ground. In the face of public resistance, the state may have to decline some $3.5 billion in federal “stimulus” funds dedicated to an initial segment of the line, connecting the thriving metropolises of Bakersfield and Merced. We may be witnessing an outbreak of fiscal and institutional sanity.