Sun, 11 Dec 2005

Congressman Adds More Vegetables to Amtrak's Load

Amtrak is a favorite target of libertarian and conservative critics of government "businesses" - citing it, along with entities such as the Postal Service, as examples of ineffective and inefficient use of tax dollars and gross governmental mismanagement. Many of these critics are in Congress.

What they seem to forget is that the real management of Amtrak and the Post Office is in Congress, despite the "privatization" of years past, and that most of the reasons the "companies" are "failing" (to make a profit) can be laid directly at the doorstep of the Capital.

It would be refreshing to have a Congresscritter tell the truth on this matter - that we can't logically have "private" entities whose policies are set by the Federal government and then excoriate them for losing money and failing to turn a profit. It's gotta be one or the other boys - either it's a government bureau or a private business - you can't be both.

Amtrak says it could lose less money if it stopped hauling cars of "premium" freight, but Congress is ordering it to haul more.

(link) [NYT > Home Page]

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