Financial Markets, Health Care and Amtrak

Ronald Reagan once said that the most dreaded words a citizen could hear was, “hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” This past week as I watched the $700 billion bailout (who really believes it will only be this much) I confess those words of Reagan continued to spin in my head. It seems to me that everything the government runs goes straight into the ground. Social Security comes to mind as does Amtrak, that amazingly inept mode of transportation.

This week, during the bailout debate, the Congress was also debating a $13 Billion Funding Bill for Amtrak. Perhaps the most sensible Senator to speak against this piece of “pork” was Jeff Sessions of Alabama (sweet home Alabama!). Sessions pointed out that each day one Amtrak train came though Alabama and made one stop in Birmingham. If you want to go to Washington, DC, you can catch this train at the one designated time. The trip will take you 18 hours with 18 stops. You can purchase this ticket for about $485. Or, you can take several airlines that have multiple departures throughout the day, many that are non-stop, or others with one stop. This ticket will cost you about $300 and it will take you about 2 hours to get there. Or you can drive it in your car and it will take you around 12 hours and with gas at about $4 a gallon it will cost you about $200. Appears to be almost a “no brainer” that Amtrak is a dinosaur which has long since lost its usefulness and value.

But the Senate didn’t think so!!! They passed the bill with a large enough margin (74-24) that the veto that President Bush had threatened could easily be overridden. You can read the details if you like HERE.

My point is simply this . . . can we really trust the government to protect us. Every time Congress votes to “fix” something it appears to simply be one step further down the road to socialism as a replacement to the free market in the U.S. I used to think that the Republican party was going to protect us from going down this slippery slope, but to be honest, most of them are just as confused as the Democrats. May God help us.


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2 Responses to “Financial Markets, Health Care and Amtrak”

  1. walter Says:

    very good

  2. google Says:

    Very good article. I’m going through some of these issues as well..

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