After a wonderful four-hour conversation catching up with an old friend, I went to bed feeling pretty good about the world until I flipped on the news. That’s when I learned of the terrible Amtrak derailment Tuesday night in Philadelphia. There was not yet word of any casualties but the pictures answered that question. My heart broke for the victims, and then a wave of revulsion killed what remained of my good mood — because I knew that by the time I woke up the mainstream media would already be feasting off the dead to further their agenda.
By 6:33 a.m., less than 8 hours later, the partisan ghouls on the set of “Morning Joe” were already screaming INFRASTRUCTURE.
The dead aren’t yet counted.
The facts of the tragic crash are not yet known.
None of that matters, though, because according to our media God created dead cops, and dead black people, and dead train passengers so Big Government Media Elites can feast off them for the energy required to demand more Big Government.
By 6:33 a.m., Joe Scarborough, the host of “Morning Joe,” was already waving the white flag of surrender to Big Government Ghouls in the form of a white piece of paper filled with non sequiturs about the amount of money China and Barbados spend on infrastructure. (Jonah Goldberg dissects Joe’s nonsense here.)
By 6:40 am. co-host Willie Geist was offering lay-up questions to Big Government Democrats like Ed Rendell about “what DC can do” about America’s infrastructure.
Somewhere in-between, co-host Mika Brzezinski is going on and on about how Amtrak passenger cars look like something out of the 1950s.
If we’re going to politicize a tragedy, let’s politicize a tragedy.
Dear Rich, White Elite Media Welfare Queens:
In my entire adult life, I have ridden Amtrak exactly ONCE. Nevertheless, for my entire adult life, I have been paying for Amtrak in the form of billions of dollars in federal subsidies.
Amtrak is one of the biggest welfare queens in the country, and so are its passengers, many of whom are members of the elite media (like Joe and Mika and Willie) whose fares are partially subsidized by taxpaying members of the middle class, and generations not yet born.
Barely a day goes by where I don’t see a member of our elite media tweeting out a photo or bit of information while they are welfare-queening somewhere on an Amtrak train between Washington DC and Manhattan.
And not one member of this elite class has yet to suggest that maybe, just maybe, if the elite had paid their fair ticket-share, Amtrak’s infrastructure would’ve already been improved and those people would not be dead.
But you see, the truth doesn’t further the agenda of increasing the power and size of the Central Government. So instead of telling the truth, our elite media welfare queens blame the already-overburdened taxpayers, and by extension, the stingy GOP.
Arm yourself with the facts for the coming fight: [emphasis added]
Amtrak’s typical riders are not low-income Americans. The poor are less likely to travel by Amtrak than by most other travel options. Only 13 percent of Amtrak passengers have incomes below $20,000. The average Amtrak rider has a higher household income than the average taxpayer. In fact, the clientele for Amtrak Metroliner service between Washington and New York consists largely of Wall Street traders, K Street lobbyists and other affluent business travelers. These folks aren’t poor.
But it’s a myth that Amtrak simply could not survive under private ownership and operation. There is no law of nature or economics that says that trains must lose money. Because of government control, however, Amtrak costs are far higher than necessary. Amtrak provides especially unprofit-able services for political reasons, and it is hamstrung by archaic work rule provisions that make it more expensive than other travel options. For example, federal law requires Amtrak to pay up to six years of severance pay to workers who are laid off.
If Amtrak could shed some of its worst money-losing routes, reorganize its management and reform its Byzantine work rules, it could save hundreds of millions of dollars. Competitively contracting food service could also save millions of dollars (and might improve meal service) on the trains.
That article is from 1997. Obviously, nothing has changed.
There is not too little infrastructure spending and our taxes are not too low.
The problem with Amtrak is the government…
… and is a greedy media who sip lattes in luxury on your dime while feeling self-important somewhere between the Emerald Cities of Manhattan and DC.
John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC