Amtrak May be History

July/12/2008 17:08PM
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Kudos to Florida congressman, John Mica. He wants to tap the private sector to get a high speed train between NYC and Washington DC. Amtrak has the Acela train which is hyped as high speed. It takes 2 hours and 48 minutes when it runs on time. A similar service which runs between Paris and Brussels takes 1 hour and 22 minutes. It runs on time which Amtrak rarely does.

Congress passed the $14.4 billion dollar Amtrak authorization bill which will give millions to the union and grants to increase money losing service around the country. But, Mica’s proposal was in the bill. He wants to solicit proposals from the private sector to take over this section of track. Amtrak can bid, but the idea is to see if the private sector wants to take on building a high speed service between the two cities. One that moves like the Paris version.

The senate bill takes this out. Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg and others like the great senator from Illinois Durbin are against this idea. The rationale, per Lautenberg, "I think it’s very difficult to privatize railroads and have it operate efficiently." I guess these senators think Amtrak is efficient. We have only dumped $30 billion into it in taxpayer dollars since 1971. Pretty efficient, Senator. 

The real reason these senators are against this proposal. They don’t want to upset the union and they refuse give up anything that is government controlled. The government can do it better. Health care will be next. Or, cap and trade, which will create the world’s largest tax collection agency, the biggest opportunity for scammers ever, and you will end up with a CO-2 ration card.

But, if by miracle, or through our pressure this Mica idea goes through it will be the end of Amtrak. Richard Branson who is building high speed rail in Britain, or someone like him will outbid Amtrak for this run. They will make it faster than the Paris run and it will be used and make money. The rest of Amtrak will be bid off the same way. Finally, we will have high speed trains liking all the major cities in America and just in the nick of time. Because, the lack of an energy strategy in Washington will have created Amtrak Airlines. 

Our government has just admitted giving $100 million dollars to scammers who bill Medicare for items approved by dead doctors. Their audacity has no bounds. The Democrats would have government running everything for you. If we ever want to have a high speed rail system in this country we need to act now. Write your elected officials and support the Mica idea.  

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