In addition to slashing funding for the arts, education programs, climate change research, and worker protections (among many other things), another lesser known casualty of President Donald Trump's "morally obscene" budget proposal: Amtrak.
At least Trump is consistent when making decisions about the budget. Always stupid.
Make America crumble into a pile of ashes. Guess because the evil emperor can fly wherever the hell he wants to with a snap of his finger, he cares not about all the people who use Amtrak to commute up and down the Eastern corridor. There will be a BIG blowback from this absolutely criminal, ill-conceived BS perpetrated by one nasty, nefarious monster of a man. And how will the oil trains running from the fields to the refineries and the ports manage without funding for track maintenance? What an effing bastard is this heartless shell of a humanoid. Is he totally blind to what the rest of the world is doing to expand/perfect their public rail transportation? Yup.
Take that, all you T-dump fans who rely on trains for either business or leisure travel. Now, you will have to drive to go see your “wall” that is to be the diabolical demagogue’s monument unto himself…may as well dig a giant pit, fill it with billion$$$ and set it on fire because that is all the good it will do for ANYONE on either side of the border with Mexico.
Wilbur Ross, the new billionaire secy of commerce is silent on this. Guess he does not want to upset the tyrant or he is on vacation in Cyprus while overseeing the bank of Cyprus, one of his large investments (money laundering operation of major proportions).
His actions are well beyond stupid…they are criminal because they are destructive, harmful to and disastrous for all life, the environment, the nation, the world, and the planet.
Dark Age America.
I’m a gigantic advocate of train travel, I live just a few blocks from an Amtrak station. The huge carbon footprint of airline travel is a huge problem. But sadly, the reality is that the Amtrak routes over 750 miles all lose money:
I’m glad I and my wife at least had the opportunity to see the breadth of the USA - plains, mountains and coast and all the forgotten sides of towns along the way from the windows of the California Zephyr, the Empire Builder, and the Coast Starlight - falling asleep in the sleeper bunk to the rocking of the car, and making friends in the shared-table dining car. No, they never ran on time, but “getting there” was not the point and some of the best scenery could only be seen - like the dramatic winding single-track route around the lower lava slopes of Mt. Shasta over morning coffee - if the train was running hours-late. And we were still in love back then - it was wonderful…I’m starting to cry…
Low profit passenger rail trains can at times delay the profitable oil and commercial trains and thus will have an impact on the railroad profits. I do not see in the article where it states that money for track maintenance will be cut. What I see is an attempt to remove from the railroads all obligations to provide track time to public service so that they can use it more profitably for their corporate clients.
Some people are unable to fly. I am not one of them but I dislike flying and avoid it. As one who has traveled the continent both by bus, train, plane, and auto I well understand that the passenger train is in many cases the most sensible method to use for travel. It seems to me that Trump is axing Amtrak in order to please the railroad companies, and the oil and automotive companies. A properly funded and managed passenger rail system that connects most major communities would reduce the demand for automobiles and gasoline and reduce airline traffic.
Amtrak stopped printing schedules this year (they are now available only on-line) which disappointed my friend who considers them the best fiction he has ever read. All other industrialized nations and many third world nations where I have ridden trains have better passenger rail systems than the US, simply because Congress has consistently underfunded Amtrak since its 1971 founding.
Considering that “the fly-over states” are nearly all red states that went big for Trump and nearly all equipment previously purchased by Amtrak and slated to be purchased is manufactured by factory workers without college degrees in Murkin factories that will now see big layoffs as Amtrak cancels equipment orders. Amtrak cuts will require Trump to work even harder to “bring back jobs”, especially as he drives high paying tech sector jobs to Canada and abroad, killing the goose that lays the few golden eggs the US economy still has. Yes, I know that Trump has no intention to actually “bring back jobs”, I am just playing along for kicks.
Reducing demand for autos? Cutting consumption of oil? Allowing him to thus sell off public oil & gas leases everywhere. R U crazy? That’s whyTrump’s proposing it. He’s cutting and gutting; the Budget Butcher will then offer a tax cut deal, as a gift to his backers, to restore lost vital services to the meat puppets who voted for this Mafia Wannabe King. Meanwhile, back at The Mara-La-La A-Go-Go, he’ll figure out how to turn a deeply corrupt and failing nation state, into a giant Goodfellas II movie set, using real NY Russian mobsters, too.
This argument has been refuted over and over. NONE of Amtrak makes an actual overall profit, none of it. When the numbers are jimmied to say the Acela or other NEC services do, they only count above-the-rail costs. What Amtrak does do is recover more of it’s costs from the farebox (94%) than any other national rail passenger service in the World does. The argument about the cost of long-distance trains has consistently been made to divide and conquer passenger rail. The opponents know that if they can do away with the national system and only have passenger trains in isolated places, like the Northeast, there will not be enough political support left eventually to keep that going and then they can do away with passenger trains entirely in the U. S., every neocon’s wet dream.
As energy resources and climate change drive the need to reduce inefficient transportation, like the automobile, and small plane short-distance airlines, we are going to need far, far more passenger rail than we do now. We need whatever skeletal system there is to build on down the road. Also, the long-distance trains help Amtrak’s overall bottom line and many of them feed passengers directly into the various corridors across the country. The right has spent over 40 years trying to kill American passenger trains, which is why they have most of the problems they do. If it’s ever properly funded, more people would have more access to desirable rail passenger service, which those who hold the power and also can afford their own private jets don’t want them to have.
We’ve used both the trains and the bus lines to get around. If the economics of the federal train system isn’t self-sustaining, let it die, I say. The private bus companies are giving my family better service to more destinations at the same out-of-pocket costs as the trains, and the bus services manage to make a profit and pay corporate income taxes, unlike Amtrak.
Anybody who has not been locked in a closet for the past four decades has watched the US highway system become more congested and deteriorated realizes the limitations of buses running on highways, especially in the future as Trump cuts other infrastructure funding and deterioration accelerates. Airports and locks for barges funded by taxpayers are less self sustaining than Amtrak, “let them die I say”.
The problems with Amtrak are political. Ask yourself what the difference between European and Murkin fascism is?
Answer: European fascists kept trains running on time.
Exactly. Of course passenger rail does not “make a profit” neither do highways, bridges, public transit, or any other surface passenger infrastructure. Airlines appear to do so only becasue of all the publicly funded airports, ATC, navigation aids, security, weather services, very low fuel taxes, and especially because the US political economy is determined to make air travel the only alternative, at any price, for average USAns to travel between most cities.
Why do essential public services have to show a profit in order to be deemed worthy of our support? Does the CDC show a profit? NOAA? How about the Department of Defense (War)?
And furthermore, the American model of almost total reliance on personal autos and trucks has huge externalized costs: never-ending highway construction, maintenance, and repair; massive
environmental costs in terms of carbon emissions, air pollution, water pollution; and hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries to passengers and pedestrians.
Unacceptable. The cruelty of the Gas, Oil and Pollution party’s TrumpNeglect replacement plan for ObamaCare has inspired a ferocious demand for universal health care, and this attempt to cut our national rail system should stimulate an impulse to agitate until we get a national network of rail, including state of the art high speed rail. Every attempt the Republicans make to do anything or cut anything or add to the military burden of the country and the world should be met with a relentless demand for better systems than we have now.
Are you nuts? The people I have talked to who have used “The Hound” on any kind of regular basis paint a picture of what is essentially a ghetto on wheels, where passengers, especially women, take their lives in their hands from the moment they enter a bus station. Unwanted accostings by creepy guys, drunks, the homeless or near homeless, criminal elements, assaults and worse are all things bus passengers regularly face. Amtrak is safe and far more comfortable than any intercity bus service. BTW, the national intercity bus system has also suffered a huge contraction over the years as well. It is very hard, if not impossible, to get where you might want to go on a bus in this country as well.
I guess no one heard Elon Musk’s vacuum tube system, which will obviously replace Amtrak. In a Corporitist state, only private business is allowed. Here’s the sad news, we still have just short of 8 more years of this. Trump will get his way no matter what. At this point, there is no stopping him. Wait until the healthcare crap comes back around. He’ll get his way without doubt on the second try. If ‘flyover’ states are concerned about transportation, wait till they cant afford ANY form of healthcare. But like Daddy Trump said, his constituents, “knew who they were hiring.”
The CDC , it could be argued, does show a profit by eliminating the huge costs associated with rampant disease.
Same with NOAA when it prevents larger disaster.
And listen, I’m pro-train in every respect. I didn’t invent capitalism–I hate it, it’s ruined my life.
But here’s the thing: capitalism call the shots in this country. Anything subsidized–see Obamacare, Medicaid, the Energy sector, farming–is suspect in the eyes of legislators. Guess who now controls the purse strings? Those who love cutting.
I’ll fight them, but here’s the problem with Amtrak. They have competitors who will gladly influence those legislators. Or did you think the airlines will just sit idly by?
“The Gas, Oil, and Pollution Party”. You got that right! For several years I have called them the Party of Fear, Hatred, and Greed. Both names fit perfectly!