I am sad for the eight people and their families who died and the many others injured because of the recent Amtrak disaster. Tragedy can happen regardless of ownership. I wish we didn't own Amtrak.
Our federal government should get out of the train business. Amtrak is another government failure. The government owns Amtrak and has since 1971. Our federal government has sunk $45 billion into Amtrak since then while each year it loses hundreds of millions of dollars. Over the next five years we are scheduled to sink another $7 billion into Amtrak.
Most Americans will never ride Amtrak yet we subsidize every ticket. The average ticket price from Washington, D.C. to New York is $69. Taxpayers (you) also subsidize each ticket by about $60. This means every time a person from the Northeast corridor buys a train ticket it costs you $60. Most of the people riding Amtrak in Philadelphia, New York and D.C. are not America's poor. The highest paid people in America live in this section of the United States. Americans pour billions of dollars into train travel that less than ten percent of Americans will ever use.
The government could save us a lot of money and headaches if they would give Amtrak away. Possibly they could give it to Donald Trump. Trump seems to make a lot of money. Maybe he could straighten it out. At least he would get it out of America's hair. Possibly we could give it to Walmart? I'm not a Walmart fan but they do make money. Maybe they could make Amtrak better. Maybe we could just give it to China? Now, there is an idea. We owe China more money that we can stuff into all the Amtrak cars lined up from D.C. to New York City. Let's give them Amtrak as payment for what we owe them. I don't like China but anything to get this train off our government payroll.
Amtrak is another American government monster that is failing bigger every day. Our country has a full plate. We should get this monster off our plate.
Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and is read in all 50 states. He is the author of 11 books. This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.