Skip to comments.Train Wreck: Amtrak Is a Case Study in Government Waste
Posted on 03/05/2012 9:13:40 AM PST by MichCapCon
At a campaign stop on Saturday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that if he is elected he will stop federal funding for passenger rail, including Amtrak.
I like those things, I just think they have to be paid for by private funds, not by funds from China, he said.
The Michigan news website Mlive.con highlighted the story and quoted a response from Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman about similar statements in the past that would cut funding to the service:
Congress has given Amtrak a critical national mission to provide intercity passenger rail service, and with an appropriate level of federal funding support, we can secure a stronger future for our country and reduce the nations dependence on foreign oil, Boardman said earlier this month.
The beneficiaries of a government subsidy including the bureaucrats who administer it always claim the taxpayer dollars are critical to some mission of helping some undetermined amount of people in some immeasurable way; Amtrak is a case study of such claims.
The federally funded rail service began in 1970 in response to the financial failure of private passenger rail providers. It promised that the service would be profitable within three years. More than 40 years and tens of billions of dollars later, Amtrak is still bleeding red ink. Subsidies total nearly half a billion dollars this year and the service has never turned a profit.
With few exceptions, rail projects, from Amtrak to high-speed rail to the People Mover, are models of inefficiency. The subsidies per passenger and per mile are off the charts when compared to other forms of transportation. And it is only through government accounting that taxpayers would spend $1 million in renovations on a train service with only 78 daily passengers, as taxpayers will for the Amtrak station in Jackson.
Political promises are often forgotten a short time after they are made. When they are recalled, bureaucrats simply promise that this time things will be different. Amtrak is no exception and Congress should end this expensive mistake.
AMTRAK= Leftists getting the gubmint to subsidize their expensive, elective lifestyle choice.
Yep, typical gubmint waste.
Where are thou, Willie Green?
Big talk from Mitt Romney considering the fact that his main backer in Michigan is Rick Snyder who supports high speed fail.
All government spending s a drain on the economy, that is why it should only spend money on things that are absolutely necessary.
Trains are a whole lot simpler than hospitals...aren’t they?
It that fiscal conservatism?
Amtrack = Amtrak.
If anyone gets the chance to take a ride on Amtrak take a look at the composition of the emplopyees. Let’s just call it “affirmative employment”.
I have mixed feelings. For almost a year I took the train to and from Boston every day for work. Service was punctual, the taxpayer-supported price cheap. On the down side, we did run-over a drunk on the tracks one day. On another, we caught fire. But overall, it beat driving hands down. And the introduction to South Station’s lively and noisy population of crazies was usually entertaining (unless one of them grabbed you are threw blood at you).
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.