The Anti-Subsidy Ideologues Had Better Watch Out. Here Comes Trouble!
Don’t look now, but there seems to be growing support for passenger rail around the country.
The reasons vary from route to route – it could be more state funds are needed or expensive track repairs are necessary – but hell hath no fury like a small town mayor or a Chamber of Commerce president who has finally come to realize that they could actually lose their train service.
See, the bozos in Congress who fixate on the fact that Amtrak’s long-distance trains need subsidies just don’t get it. These trains are public transportation. For many of the communities they serve, that daily train is the only way in or out of town.
We’ve recently stumbled on another important reason to keep these long-distance trains running. Most of these rural communities have only the very basic medical facilities. But when someone shows up with a serious illness … an unusual medical condition that requires treatment beyond their capabilities … the doctors and nurses in these rural clinics send those patients to medical centers in bigger cities with specialists and the latest sophisticated equipment. And here’s the thing: They send them by public transportation. They send them by train!
So the next time some self-impressed, shallow-thinking congressman like Jeff Denham of California fumes about the pitifully small subsidy that keeps the Southwest Chief running, maybe we should send Sister Janice from St. Catherine hospital in Garden City, Kansas, back there to Washington to give the congressman a good talking to.
And, for good measure, whack his knuckles with her ruler. I’d pay to see that!