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What happens when government runs trains
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

In a Washington Examiner article dated Aug. 2, 2012, by commentary writer Joel Gehrke headlined “Amtrak lost $800M on cheeseburgers and soda,” he writes,  “Taxpayers lost $833 million over the last decade on the food and beverages supplied by Amtrak, which managed to spend $1.70 for every dollar that was received in revenue”.

“Over the last ten years, these losses have amounted to a staggering $833.8 million,” said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., in a statement previewing a House hearing. “It costs passengers $9.50 to buy a cheeseburger on Amtrak, but the cost to taxpayers is $16.15.  Riders pay $2 for a Pepsi, but each of these sodas costs the U.S. Treasury $3.40.”

Wow, this is Amtrak, an established money drain for the 40 years of its existence and California wants to build another money drain called a bullet train.  How come we can’t learn from our mistakes?

“Amtrak executives have appeared before Congress with plan after plan, swearing to approximate a break-even, but it never materializes. In the  late 1970s, when there was pressure to shut it down, Amtrak survived by claiming that pension costs would exceed any benefit in closing shop. 

Today, an entire generation of workers later, it is still losing money.  How much money? In 2011, in spite of rising ridership, Amtrak collected $2.7 billion in revenue but lost a bit over $1.3 billion.”

And this is for the whole Amtrak not a train that will go nowhere.

This November I urge those who take the time to vote, to vote out each and every politician who backs this idiotic bullet train and the next election continue to vote  out any other supporters who come up for reelection. The ballot box is our only chance and even that doesn’t always work with the liberal justices overturning our votes. We have to try.

This State is broke and it isn’t going to get much better if idiots like Brown and his cronies keep pushing stupid ideas like bullet trains, Delta tunnels. and desert water drilling.


Al Barth
Aug. 2, 2012