Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Dave at Garfield Ridge has the scoop on one cutback President Bush is set to propose: subsidies to Amtrak. He quotes the Reuters story for details.
The Bush administration will for the first time propose eliminating operating subsidies for passenger train operator Amtrak as part of a push to cut budget deficits, people close to the budget process said on Tuesday.

President Bush (news - web sites)'s fiscal 2006 budget, which he will send to Congress on Monday, will allocate no subsidy for Amtrak to run its trains. But it will offer $360 million for maintenance on the flagship Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston -- which Amtrak owns -- and for commuter services.
Well, I say Amen! True, this a drop in the bucket for the feds, but a cutback is a cutback, and eliminating the ridiculous subsidy for the nation's trains is as good a place to start as any. Amtrak has not made a dime in 34 years, and other than its northeastern corridor, travel on it is practically non-existent. People have enjoyed the pleasures of autmobiles, airplanes, and even buses over the over-priced and not all that fast trains travelling across the nation.

Dave also correctly notes that it's not as though passenger rail will completely be eliminated.
Passenger rail will survive-- even flourish-- where this is a financial incentive to provide it. Where there isn't that incentive, then why should the government provide a service that competes directly with other forms of cheaper and more efficient commercial transportation? Using *our* tax dollars?
Exactly. Now about that whole Department of Education . . .


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