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The Boondoggle of Long-Distance Passenger Rail

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Sat, 04/03/2021 - 12:24pm

Infrastructure often is a good thing. Government-financed infrastructure is a questionable thing. Infrastructure financed by Uncle Sam is a bad thing. Those three rules guide my thinking and make for a perfect introduction to this must-watch video from Reason on high-speed rail.

The core message from the video is that Californian’s disastrous experience with high-speed rail should be a warning for the entire nation.

Simply stated, the government is incapable of doing infrastructure without jaw-dropping cost overruns.

But even if – by some impossible miracle – the government spent the money wisely and efficiently, long-distance rail doesn’t make sense.

Why? Well, if I do a tweet-of-the-year contest for 2021, this entry from Rory Cooper would be an early favorite to win the prize.

Instead of expanding the federal government role, it’s time to end Washington’s involvement.

That means shutting down the entire Department of Transportation.

But let’s focus specifically on Amtrak. Chris Edwards wrote wisely on the topic for the Foundation for Economic Education.

The federal government does a lot of things poorly… After the government helped ruin private passenger rail in the post-WWII years, it took over the remaining passenger rail routes in the 1970s under the Amtrak brand. Amtrak was supposed to become self-supporting, but it has consumed tens of billions of taxpayer dollars over the years. …Amtrak operates 44 routes on 21,000 miles of track in 46 states. Amtrak owns the trains, but freight rail companies own nearly all the track. A Pew analysis found that Amtrak loses money on 41 of its 44 routes… The few routes that earn positive returns are in the Northeast, and the biggest money losers are the long-distance routes. …the best fit for the future would be a privatized Amtrak. Privatization would allow for innovation and cost-cutting to improve service and make rail more financially viable. A private rail company (or companies) could…end harmful union rules. It would be able to close the routes that are losing the most money and shift resources to the core routes to improve service quality.  Congress should get out of the passenger rail business and give rail the private-sector flexibility it needs to better compete against other transportation modes.

Amen. If inter-city rail travel makes sense, it can and will attract funding from the private sector.

Sadly, President Biden wants to move in the opposite direction. His so-called infrastructure plan makes taxpayers foot the bill.

The White House wants $80 billion for rail, though it’s unclear how much money would be allocated specifically to Amtrak compared to other rail projects.

What is clear, by contrast, is that the money will be wasted and America’s economy will be harmed.

P.S. Biden’s “stimulus” boondoggle included a bailout for mass transit, but no funds for intercity rail travel.

P.P.S. If you’re transportation wonk, here’s a very informative 45-minute video on rail and highway transportation.

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Image credit: WikimediaImages | Pixabay License.

Public health prof: Biden should deny freedom to Americans who don’t get COVID vaccine

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 04/03/2021 - 12:19pm

'We have a very narrow window to tie reopening policy to vaccination status because otherwise, if everything is reopened, then what’s the carrot going to be? How are we going to incentivize people to actually get the vaccine?'

The post Public health prof: Biden should deny freedom to Americans who don’t get COVID vaccine appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Leaked illegal immigration stats are ‘undeniable’ proof Biden’s policies caused border crisis

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 04/03/2021 - 11:52am

CBP reportedly encountered over 53,000 migrants traveling as family units in March, compared with around 19,200 in February, according to The Post. Both a current and former CBP official who have reviewed the March apprehension numbers confirmed their accuracy to The Post.

The post Leaked illegal immigration stats are ‘undeniable’ proof Biden’s policies caused border crisis appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Cartoon of the Day: Yes we can

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 04/03/2021 - 10:50am

Border detention facilities

The post Cartoon of the Day: Yes we can appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Media reporting on identity of Friday’s Capitol attacker mostly honest. One huge exception

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 04/03/2021 - 10:41am

One outlet that appeared to go out of its way to play down the incident because of its "unfriendly" narrative was Facebook, which as the Post Millennial reports, scrubbed Green's profile from its site.

The post Media reporting on identity of Friday’s Capitol attacker mostly honest. One huge exception appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

The feds’ bogus violent extremist narrative

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/02/2021 - 9:21pm

Julie Kelly, Am. Greatness

The post The feds’ bogus violent extremist narrative appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

It’s official: MLB announces it will punitively move All-Star Game out of Atlanta

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/02/2021 - 4:31pm

It's now official. A short time ago, the office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced that the All-Star game would be moved out of Atlanta as punishment for the State of Georgia's passage of an omnibus bill that changes how elections are run in the state.

The post It’s official: MLB announces it will punitively move All-Star Game out of Atlanta appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Vermont limits access to COVID vaccine based on race, which is unconstitutional

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 04/02/2021 - 2:41pm

The Supreme Court says the government is only allowed to use race as a 'last resort,' after race-neutral remedies have been tried

The post Vermont limits access to COVID vaccine based on race, which is unconstitutional appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

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