Friday, February 13, 2009

What Do Green Jobs and Joe Biden Have In Common? Soaking the Tax Payer

Lou Dobbs hits the nail on the head:

This reminds me of a commentator mentioning that while Joe Biden made it a point to say that he rode the Amtrack train to and from work all the time -- trying to make it sound like he is "saving the planet." What he is really doing is costing the tax payers about $250 a day. Amtrak has been subsidized since its inception. They cannot make a profit to kill them! So the government subsidized them. Joe Biden was/is costing the tax payers every ride of that train! The below is imported (Reihl World View):

Biden's Free Pass On Amtrak Soaks Taxpayers, Not The Rich

Following up on an Extreme Mortman post with an image of Biden and Specter riding Amtrak together reveals that Laura Nichols does little more than regurgitate a purposely designed DNC talking point through the Washington Post. But the real story behind Biden and Amtrak is far from all that for the American taxpayer.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Have you heard Joe Biden takes the Amtrak train home every night from Washington, D.C., to Wilmington? If not, you will soon -- over and over again.

The National Taxpayers Union has been railing, pardon the pun, about Amtrak for years.

Nixon Administration correspondence on Amtrak stated, “It is expected that the corporation would experience financial losses for about three years and then become a self-sustaining enterprise.”

Instead, as you can see from page ten of this NTU pdf, never profitable Amtrak has been soaking taxpayers for years and it still isn't enough.

Amtrak could face the elimination of routes across the country, as its funding would fall $180 million below the Fiscal 2006 level. In addition, the maintenance and upgrades that many Members of Congress have advocated to make Amtrak more competitive would be delayed, undermining Amtrak’s safety and service especially in high-traffic areas like the Northeast Corridor.

Also see this from 2002:

(Alexandria, VA) – Today was supposed to mark the beginning of liquidation for Amtrak, yet the fiscally-challenged passenger railroad will continue to chug along on government subsidies. This broken promise to taxpayers from politicians is only the most recent of many failures documented in a new historical study from the 335,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU).

Here's a blogger and Amtrak rider who probably won't make the Washington Post.

In practice, Amtrak is one of the most dysfunctional organizations operating today.

American taxpayers looking at warm fuzzy images of Joe Biden riding Amtrak should at least stop and consider the fact that they've been subsidizing Slow Joe's ride home every night to the tune of billions of dollars for years.

Since its creation, Amtrak has absorbed more than $29 billion in subsidies and more than $6.5 billion since 1997 alone. It was in 1997 that a federal reform board mandated that Amtrak either become profitable by 2003 or be liquidated. Both the federal government and the state of Michigan must stop providing cash subsidies to this unnecessary and expensive intervention in the transportation marketplace. Taxpayers would be better off with some sort of privatized version of Amtrak, but that does not look like it will happen in the short run.

Of course, it wasn't liquidated. And all Amtrak defender and traveling free loader Joe Biden did was have his lobbyist son placed on the Amtrak Board. That would be the board of a government owned corporation whose stock is worth ... well, about as much as the talking point that Biden is somehow doing American Taxpayers a favor by ensuring he gets to hold on to his subsidized ride back and forth to work everyday.

Wiki Link: Government aid to Amtrak was controversial from the beginning. The formation of Amtrak in 1971 was criticized as a bailout serving corporate rail interests and union railroaders, not the traveling public. Critics assert that Amtrak has proven incapable of operating as a business and that it does not provide valuable transportation services meriting public support,[50] a "mobile money-burning machine."[51] They argue that subsidies should be ended, national rail service terminated, and the Northeast Corridor turned over to private interests.