Did we say pig out on Amtrak news? Sorry – we meant pig out on fast food. ratpag made the wise choice to stop at the Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, NJ in order participate in the coming together of Taco Bell and Chik-Fil-A. Jealous?
ratpag also enjoyed the uniting of light rail trains and beer.
Ok, fine! Want some transportation news? How about this: “House whacks Amtrak construction funds.” Care to hear our secret chili recipe?
This has been passed down through generations of ratpags. We’re proud to finally introduce it to you, our readers, on this beautiful September Monday.
- 1 package McCormick Chili seasoning mix, hot
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can baked beans
Mix. Cook until ready.
Back to Amtrak.
So this “whacking” of funding is proposed to reduce “Amtrak’s overall annual appropriation from about $1.9 billion to approximately $1.4 billion per year.” With regards to these cuts, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster says
The reality is intercity passenger rail plays an important role in our national transportation network.
Right. ratpag agrees. So the funding cut?
Congress can either sit back while Amtrak and our passenger rail system continue to muddle along without reforms and without improvements, or we can take significant steps forward in improving Amtrak’s transparency and cost-effectiveness, and compelling it to operate like a true business should.
Again – so the funding cuts help Amtrak improve in what way? From what ratpag can tell, this is all just a fancy way of saying Amtrak service should be whittled down to only the profitable lines in a few areas of the country – or, better yet, privatize those lines.
But why should a private company be allowed to come along and buy out the profitable Northeast lines when everybody had to chip in and wait for so long for those lines to start turning those profits? And those unprofitable lines, much like the many miles of unprofitable roadways, so serve a purpose in connecting those who happen to not live in the jam-packed Northeast.
ratpag’s sorry – we’re a bit tired. This proposed bill just seems so very annoying. More trimming of small budgets in the name of big big savings. Perhaps they can again bring up a bill to eliminate the whopping 0.012 percent of the federal budget that is public broadcasting subsidy, too.
Don’t make ratpag beg – let ratpag retain some of its dignity. Throw a little extra money towards Amtrak and let it build itself up. And please don’t replace normal food and beverage service with vending machines!