With Obama half way through his first (and I hope and pray Last) term as President, lets see how well he is going
Over all its 46% approve and 44% disapprove, basically a tie… But looking at the party lines, I think we see more of the picture, only 14% of republicans approve of Mr. Obama and his White House. The Conservative base is unhappy… If you factored in the RINOS (Republicans in name only), or should I say factored out the RINOS , the percentage would be in the single digits.
We are optimistic about or future, only because we know we only have a until November of 2012 to put up with this inept White House. But the American people, as the numbers show, are growing inpatient with Obama and his policies, a drop of 16 points from May of 1999 to January of 2011, that’s a big drop.
But Obama and the democrats have our backs, they know what America needs, High Speed Trains… Ya, that’s the ticket…
President Barack Obama will ask Congress to approve a six-year, $53 billion program to construct a national network of high-speed rail. (source)
Umm… I think not…
The world’s passenger rail systems consist mostly of "ordinary" passenger rail, which operates at average speeds between 50 mph and 85 mph. Some systems include a few genuine HSR lines. In the United States, passenger rail (Amtrak) is the most heavily subsidized of all passenger travel modes, requiring a federal subsidy of $237.53 per 1,000 passenger miles, compared to $4.23 for commercial aviation and $1.50 for intercity busses. Rail subsidies in Europe are just as high, if not higher. (source)
For what benefit? I would love to take a train to Detroit, not have to worry about parking, or concern myself with if I have a drink or not. But…. And this is a big BUT… I don’t want the next generation paying for it…
To go from Detroit (I would have to drive and park there) to Chicago is $53.00. No including parking and other public transport once I am in Chicago (if needed). To drive the 261 miles it would take me a little under 5 hours. With gas currently at around $3.10 per gallon and 21 miles per gallon it would take about 12 gallons or about $38 dollars. Not for one person, the train would be cheaper, not considering the parking. But for a family of 4… $212.00, but in my car its still under $40.00, or less than $10 per person.
So even with the American government tossing is $237.53 per 1000 passenger miles, on the old Amtrak system, its not cost effective. Whit an new system, new rail lines and trains, I would have to figure that Uncle Sam would have to foot more of the cost, just to keep the prices down at levels most would be willing to pay.
U.S. taxpayers spent about $32 subsidizing the cost of the typical Amtrak passenger in 2008, about four times the rail operator’s estimate, according to a private study.
Amtrak operates a nationwide rail network, serving more than 500 destinations in 46 states. Forty-one of Amtrak’s 44 routes lost money in 2008, said the study by Subsidyscope, an arm of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Leading the list was the train traveling between New Orleans and Los Angeles – the Sunset Limited – which lost $462 per passenger. Taxpayers subsidize the losses to keep the passenger train service running. (source)
Amtrak lost $1.1 billion last year (source), so do we really want yet another government run rail system. If it was needed, and wanted, some smart business person would have already done it. I say privatize Amtrak, and lets see what becomes of it. If, lets say Delta Airlines, were to buy Amtrak, they would run it to make a profit, and not depend on the Government to subsidize it. If it failed to make a profit, then they would close it down, or at least close the stations that do not make money.
The American government does not know how to make money, they only know how to take it and spend it. With great ideas, such as High Speed Rail, coming out of the White House, no wonder most Americans are not happy with our current President. Mr. Obama, the sooner you learn that Government is not the answer but is the problem, the sooner we will recover and grow.