President Bush looks at Amtrak and sees a boondoggle. Intelligently says that here is a billion dollar subsidy for the Northeast. The company is terribly mismanaged. There famed Acela line does not work. Lets scrap it and let private enterprise in to have a go.
So what does the clueless Administrators of Amtrak do?
They submit a request for 1.82 BILLION DOLLARS!!!
That is 600 MILLION MORE THAN WHAT WAS BUDGETED THIS YEAR!!!
Several senators on Thursday criticized President Bush’s proposal to give Amtrak no money next year, while the railroad submitted a request to Congress for $1.82 billion.
Amtrak is receiving $1.2 billion from Congress this year.
Chairman David Laney said that without a boost in money the railroad would have no cash by year’s end in light of Acela Express brake problems that have sidelined the profitable high-speed fleet until this summer.
Of course, our fiscally responsible Senators from both sides of the aisle are upset, they are the bloviating patrons of pork. So they do not want a penny cut.
How did the administration come up with such a ridiculous proposal?” asked Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., subcommittee chairman. “I was extremely stunned and disappointed that such a proposal was made.”
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said the Bush administration’s stance that zero funding of Amtrak is a “call to action” was baseless.
“Zero funding means you want to shut the place down,” Dorgan said.
Jeffrey Rosen, the Transportation Department’s general counsel, defended Bush’s proposal, saying changes need to be made in Amtrak “before we spend one more taxpayer dollar to prop up a fundamentally broken system.”
Bush’s proposal would set aside $360 million to run trains along the Northeast Corridor if the railroad stopped operating.
So here we have a clueless administrator, a bunch of pork lusting Senators, and an AP writer that wants to put a dagger into GWB with a headline such as “Senators Slam Bush’s Amtrak Proposal; Railroad Asks for More Money”.
It just utterly amazes me. I thought I had nerve.