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Friday, May 13, 2005

This Weeks' Fuzzy Math (TWFM)

In the Washington Post this week, columnist Robert Samuelson lamented runaway and bi-partisan federal spending. His column was called Deficit Disorder. He gave several examples of government waste and one related to Amtrak. I thought it was a great example- he described the Amtrak annual subsidy this way.."it received $1.2 Billion for carrying about 25 million people". That is a government subsidy of $48 per rider. Can you believe that ? In effect, taxpayers are forking over an average of $48 to every person who steps onto an Amtrak train to cover the actual cost of their train ride over and above the cost of their ticket. That is insane - why don't we just shut down Amtrak, buy a bunch of cars (hybrids of course) and any traveler can use them to drive from station to station.. just park the car and leave the keys inside for the next mass transit loving traveler (oh and fill the gas tank or charge the battery whatever you do with a hybrid). Btw, this post ties in nicely to our Fuzzy Math post from two weeks ago which coincidentally also dealt with the vague cost versus benefits of Amtrak.

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