It's Budget Time Again

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It's Budget Time Again

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:42 pm

Fortune Magazine

"Cut Amtrak in half" says The White House.

Lest we forget "The President Proposes, Congress Disposes".

Too early to panic.
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Re: It's Budget Time Again

Postby Anthony » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:09 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Fortune Magazine

"Cut Amtrak in half" says The White House.

Lest we forget "The President Proposes, Congress Disposes".

Too early to panic.

This budget is DOA in Congress, especially the Democratic-controlled House. FYI, This article is from last year, not this year.
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Re: It's Budget Time Again

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:18 pm

Apologies to Anthony and the Forum for that oversight on my part.

I have found a quotation from the FY20 document relating to Amtrak:

Amtrak’s network has not been significantly modified since Amtrak’s inception over 40 years ago, and long distance routes continually underperform, suffering from low ridership and large operating losses of roughly half a billion dollars annually. Simply put, Amtrak trains inadequately serve many rural markets while not serving many growing metropolitan areas at all. The Administration believes that restructuring the Amtrak system can result in better service (at a lower cost) by focusing trains on shorter distance (less than 750 miles) routes, while providing robust intercity bus service to currently underserved rural areas via a partnership between Amtrak and bus operators. To accomplish this transformation, the Budget provides $550 million in transitional grants as States and Amtrak begin the process to restructure the network and States prepare to incrementally take financial responsibility for the newly created State-supported routes. The Budget also provides $936 million in direct grants to Amtrak, to support investment on the Northeast Corridor and existing State-supported lines, and to assist Amtrak in this transition.

I bekieve this s verbatim copy of the statement from the FY19 Document. I think we all know how that turned out.
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Re: It's Budget Time Again

Postby Alex M » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:42 am

One potential danger lurking out there is that the current regime at Amtrak has alienated some of their traditional allies over private cars and excursions that this has led some to say to hell with Amtrak.
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Re: It's Budget Time Again

Postby mmi16 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:50 am

The current administration believes a $2 bill is overfunding.
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Re: It's Budget Time Again

Postby David Benton » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:37 pm

Trainsmag.com has a detailed report and link to actual budget .
http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/20 ... t-spending
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Re: It's Budget Time Again

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:43 pm

The Presidents"budget request" is DOA on the Floor of the the House and Senate,and has become campaign fodder for the 2020 election.
The "Wall" request will almost create a "shutdown showdown" around Sept of this year,unless some sort of Compromise can be found
to prevent it. Here we go again! :( :( :(
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Re: It's Budget Time Again

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:02 pm

The whole budget process as it's currently constituted is a waste of time and psychic energy.
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Re: It's Budget Time Again

Postby eolesen » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:44 pm

Well, I happen to agree Amtrak should be focused less on rural services, and that the states should be the ones picking up the lion's share of the cost.

It's government's job to provide for the common defense and promote general welfare. No where in that document does it say operate trains or to compete with private enterprise i.e. airlines and buses.
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Re: It's Budget Time Again

Postby Greg Moore » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:14 am

This is expressly NOT true.
The Constitution actually has one place where it clearly DOES suggest that the government is supposed to compete with private industry and that's the establishment of Post Offices and Post Roads.

I mention this not to be pedantic, but to point out that private competition has been baked in and to point out that in the past this very clause was used to help establish our railroad network.

Obviously, at this time the railroads are not involved in the carrying of US Postage (except perhaps the rare case) and whether they should again is a discussion for elsewhere.

I will also point out that "provide for the common welfare" has been liberally expanded over the history of the US and used as justification for a number of projects over the centuries (including I believe the establishment of things like the Rural Electrification Administration).
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Re: It's Budget Time Again

Postby charlesriverbranch » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:48 am

eolesen wrote:It's government's job to provide for the common defense and promote general welfare. No where in that document does it say operate trains or to compete with private enterprise i.e. airlines and buses.


Those airlines and buses are subsidized by government. Airports and air traffic control are public services; so are the highways used by buses.

Trains make sense. The more of them we run, the more alternatives we give to people who need to travel, and the less traffic congestion, polllution, and highway fatalities there will be.

Frankly, I would have preferred to see private railroads continue to run passenger services, with government subsidies, rather than create Amtrak. The post office was effectively subsidizing hundreds of passenger trains up to 1967, when it canceled most of its rail contracts. We have never in the Amtrak age had anything like the number of trains that were running pre-1967.
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Re: It's Budget Time Again

Postby John_Perkowski » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:05 am

Admin note....

There are plenty of threads about the history of transportation subsidies.

Let’s talk about the 2020 proposals, shall we?
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Re: It's Budget Time Again

Postby ConstanceR46 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:37 am

Wasn't he supposed to be strong on infrastructure? Lmao.

This may be DOA but it's still scary to think that we might lose what little passenger service we have left.
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