Tuesday, September 7, 2010


   I am rapidly loosing faith in the decisions made in washington to "help" the economy. Today our president proposed more spending on rail travel to create jobs. I do not like to criticize our president so I will just say that whoever came up with this idea must have been smoking dope when the idea appeared to him and then the president gave it no thought before proposing it. I guess it sounded like a good idea at the time.
  To pay for this new program the president said he was going to eliminate subsidies for the oil and gas industry which was given  as part of the 2005 HR 6 energy bill which due to other provisions actually raised taxes for the energy companies.But ,and this is a big but, that bill only allocated 2.6 billion for oil and gas, the rest for nuclear power [haven't seen that yet].So for a cost neutral bill,he wants to spend 50 billion and pay for it with 2.6 billion in reduced expenditures.Do the math people, we get screwed again.And there is more, yes I know hard to believe.It seems the president has already proposed to use the oil and gas industry increased revenue to invest more billions in clean and renewable energy sources [june 2 2010.] but that was two months ago.I guess its easy to forget when he is so busy spending other peoples money.How does he keep track of it all?
  In 1970 congress created amtrak.Ever heard of it  [unless of course you live in the northeast corridor.? ]Amtrak is run by guess who, the government. So I guess it  comes as no big surprise that Amtrak has never made a profit and it was designated by congress to be a for profit business. But congress in its infinite       wisdom has all kind of antiquated rules that make it unprofitable.I know so many are upset about corporate parachutes but get this, any employee who is laid off from amtrak must receive six years severance pay.So congress attacks wall street bonuses but essentially does the same thing with a railroad they run that does not and never has made a profit.Well a business can not run at a loss indefinitely without an injection of money.Amtrak is no different but it has an unlimited supply of our money.We the taxpayer pay between 1 to 1.5 billion a year to subsidize amtrak or about $32 for every passenger. The best or should I say worse route is from New Orleans to Los Angeles.We pay $462 for every single passenger that takes that train.I just checked , you can fly the same route , round trip, for $300 or non stop for $480.
 I think you can figure out where this is going.Our president wants more amtracks to create jobs which means that in the future we will be asked or should I say forced to subsidize more riders who might ride them.What a joke.What is he thinking or smoking? New rail routes will take years to plan, buy right of way and it will be years before any jobs are created on the actual construction.The stimulus bill contained 8 billion for rail travel , one from Chicago to Iowa [ever been there? people in the east think thats where they grow potatoes. ] and the other goes from Tampa to Orlando.I used to live in Iowa and other than corn and pheasant hunting there are no major tourist attractions. Who will ride that train anyhow?The Florida route has no parking available doesnt plan to stop at places like disneyland and will cost more than driving yourself plus will save no time.So whats the point? I just dont get it.But we will get it, in our taxes.Bet on it.
  I think our president is impressed with the high speed trains in Europe. I have taken them and they are impressive ,fast,clean,efficient.But the U.S. is not europe.We have a much more scattered population,over vast distances and we prefer the freedom of our own car.Also europe has had trains for a very long tim,buying the right of way years ago and its a way of life .
 This new jobs proposal which is just more tax and spend hoopla is supposed to be paid for by eliminating some oil and gas industry tax breaks. So while we criticize the industry for making money and push them to find more energy and scream loudly when gas and heating costs go up we want them to pay for rails to nowhere which we will subsidize and no one will ride.Does this make any sense to anyone?
 This is one more example of how our government is hurting the economy.Please no more help from Washington.

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