SPREAD THIS: 11 Things the Media Refuses to Report About Amtrak
Since the media is now positively drooling over the chance to blame Republicans for this tragedy, here are 11 things about the Amtrak crash that are practically guaranteed not to make it on CNN.
1. The Federal Government Owns and Operates Amtrak
Because train travel is an 18th century invention, by 1971 the passenger train business was virtually dead, having been replaced by planes and other forms of transportation. Instead of changing with the times, the federal government decided it would be a wonderful idea to form Amtrak.
Nothing says progress like staying with the 1800s!
2. Amtrak Loses Hundreds of Millions of Dollars a Year
A law was passed in 1997 that required Amtrak to become profitable by 2002. Yet since 2009, Amtrak has lost somewhere around $2 billion.
The federal government can’t even follow its own laws — not that that’s a surprise.
3. American Taxpayers Subsidize a Service They Don’t Use
Most Amtrak lines service what’s known as the Northeast corridor, where the crash took place. Most of the taxpayers subsidizing this government owned and operated service do not live there. So we (and future generations) are funding yet another government service almost none of us use.
4. A Very Small Percentage of the Population Use a Government Service We All Pay For
There are more than 300 million people in America, yet ridership is only around 25 million per year. Yet these ridiculously low numbers won’t stop the government from continuing to fund Amtrak.
5. Amtrak Has Already Been Subsidized to the Tune of a Whopping $45 billion
Since the government took it over, Amtrak has sucked up about $45 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies over the last 44 years. Just what that money could have actually been used for … medicine, food, advancements in technology. Or how about lowering tax rates?
But the government decided it would be better to use it to fund a train.
6. Amtrak Is Set to Receive Another $7 Billion Over the Next 5 years
The same media that is telling you that Amtrak is underfunded because Republicans are terrible and evil is not telling you that Amtrak will receive $7 billion in handouts through 2020.
7. Amtrak Is Not Underfunded; It Is Criminally Mismanaged
The average onboard employee of Amtrak made $41.19 an hour as of 2012. Meanwhile, in the rest of America, railroads that contracted out services to private companies paid their employees $7.75 to $13.00 an hour. On top of that, regulations and poor oversight allowed employees to pocket $185 million in overtime pay in 2013 — because $41.19 an hour isn’t nearly enough.
8. American People Subsidize $60 of Every Amtrak Ticket Sold
When you break down the numbers the math is painfully clear. If only 25 million people ride the train, that means that for every person boarding a train, the American people are paying $60.
According to Amtrak’s website, a ticket from New York City to Washington, D.C., will cost $69. You do the math.
9. Taxpayers Subsidize Passengers Who Can Afford to Make Amtrak Profitable
Most people who ride Amtrak are not poor Americans trying to get to work. They are people who could afford to pay the ticket price, or find another way to get to work, including many of our liberal media friends who are crying for more federal spending.
But the government has decided that you and I and everyone else who pays taxes should subsidize the train ride for people who could easily pay for it themselves.
A 1997 Cato Institute Study makes this painfully clear, and there is no reason to suspect anything has changed since then:
“The poor are less likely to travel by Amtrak than by most other travel options. Only 13 percent of Amtrak passengers have incomes below $20,000. The average Amtrak rider has a higher household income than the average taxpayer. In fact, the clientele for Amtrak Metroliner service between Washington and New York consists largely of Wall Street traders, K Street lobbyists and other affluent business travelers.”
10. There Is No Good Reason for The Government To Own Amtrak
Other than the screaming media pundits, there is no justifiable reason not to give Amtrak away for free to a private business that can make it profitable and save the taxpayers billions. Of course that would mean the government would lose control of something, which is an unspeakable horror to the liberal elite.
Many on the left would simply be terrified that they might have to pay for something they use. Well, that’s how capitalism works: You use something, you pay for it. Don’t like it? Maybe Russia would subsidize a ticket to Moscow.
11. The Amtrak Derailment Might Be Yet Another Failure of the Federal Government
Although it’s far too soon to say what caused this terrible crash, we do know who owns Amtrak — the federal government. We also know that Amtrak consistently wastes money on unnecessary lines and exorbitant labor costs instead of investing in safety (H/T Breitbart).
If the infrastructure of the line is found to be responsible for this crash, the blame should lie at the feet of the federal government, which has no business trying to run Amtrak in the first place.