Public Nuisance

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The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
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Monday, June 24, 2002
 
Amtrak is now within a few days of shutting down unless Congress and the Bushies can agree on a bailout.

Why is it that we can put together $15 billion on the double for an airline bailout but find it so hard to come up with 1% of that to keep Amtrak running or maybe 5 - 6% to allow real improvements to the outdated equipment and better service?

If I didn't know that our devoted public servants are solely concerned with our best interests I'd tend to suspect that maybe the big campaign donations from airline companies had a lot to do with the airline bailout.

I might even be crazy enough to think that maybe those air carriers don't want to compete against a really good inter-city rail service and use their influence in Congress and the Administration to keep Amtrak on the edge of bankruptcy, and Amtrak is unable to fight back since, being government funded, it can't make the big PAC and soft money donations that the airlines do.

Of course the airlines needed that bailout because they were hit by a disaster that they weren't at fault for. And I'm sure that airline lobbyists sinking the Gore Comission's proposals to improve security, as well as any other attempts at better security for years, had nothing to do with 9/11.



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