With the events of the past two weeks smoldering in our collective brains - or whats left of our brains after the political ads slam them against the wall with every television or radio break - we now know that we should not have asked, "Will there be any money left for Passenger Rail?" What we should have asked was, "Will there be any money left? Period."
Fact One: The current economic crisis and the resulting bailouts are spending taxpayer dollars that have to come from somewhere and that would otherwise have gone elsewhere.
Fact Two: The economic situation will tend to elect Democrats in four weeks.
Fact Three: Democrats have run on the promise of extensive spending programs to right the supposed wrongs of previous administrations.
Fact Four: Democrats have also established the balanced budget idea that says basically that no new spending will occur without taking money away from old projects.
Fact Five: Amtrak and Passenger Rail are not as politically sexy as road, bridges and airport facilities.
There will be huge temptation to take money away from Passenger Rail sooner than from other infrastructure projects. We hope it doesn't put a revived intercity rail system on the back burner just when it was starting to cook.
©2008 - C. A. Turek - firstname.lastname@example.org