Sunday, June 15, 2008

Amtrak Budget: Is the Glass Half Full, or Just Half Cracked?

If it is the objective of Congress to thumb it's collective snotty nose at the taxpayer in general and at Amtrak in particular, then the pathetic Amtrak appropriation just passed by the House is a measure of success.

$14.9 billion for Amtrak for FIVE fiscal years 2009 thru 2013.

At the very same time, The Associated Press is reporting just about $14 billion in earmarks (called Pork) going to Members' districts in just ONE year. And, if the AP is just half right, that means that about $700 million is going into the pockets of lobbyists for the district and/or organization - read political contributors - that pushed for the earmark. (The AP is guessing about 10%, so conservatively, 5% isn't any stretch at all.)

And supporters of the Amtrak appropriation had to beat back amendments that would have gutted and hamstrung any Amtrak management efforts at improvements.

Let us pray, for remember, with Congress, it's never too late to screw things up.

© 2008 - C. A. Turek - mistertrains@gmail.com
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