Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Republican circular firing squad

It is a rather entertaining analogy previously applied to Democrats after major defeats. Southern Political Report deals with the aftermath of November elections and some possible upheaval among congressional leaders. Specifically, the house leadership is being contested and voting records are being contrasted. Here is an interesting nugget.

On the House side, Boehner has an ACU score of 100 as well (his career score is. Lungren voted with him on every issue in the 2007 ACU survey except for one: HR 1401.  That bill “would have eliminated taxpayer funding of the 10 Amtrak long-distance routs that have lost the most passenger revenue.”  ACU opposed the amendment, but given the energy costs and need to reduce traffic congestion and stress upon our nation’s roadway infrastructure, the vote should not hurt Lungren too much with conservatives.

OK. The test is rather confused. If the American Conservative Union opposed the amendment, they took the pro-Amtrak position. In that case, Lungren took the more “conservative” position. I cannot help but wonder if this copy is a bit muddled. 

Let’s get down to this idea that long distance trains lose more passenger revenue than corridor trains. This is a political tactic of “divide and conquer.” It is also a case of repeating a big lie until it becomes the truth. If one were completely fair, there would be no certain way to know which train “lost” the most money. This would involve the proper allocation of terminal costs,  reservations, and on board operations (and who knows what else). It is an argument that is not easily supported by facts.

They are sure right about one thing. Supporting sensible transportation policy never hurts a politician.


Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

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November 2008


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