Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Money For Nothing and Your Cash For Free

Amtrak, the favorite whipping boy of many libertarians, is getting some free money from Illinois.

State funding for Amtrak will double under the 2007 budget bill passed by the General Assembly last week, setting the stage for additional service between Chicago and St. Louis as well as parts of Downstate Illinois, officials said Tuesday.

The proposed service enhancements come as Amtrak ridership throughout the state continues to grow.
The new state budget approved by the General Assembly allows IDOT to increase its $12.1 million contract with Amtrak to $24 million next year. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said that's the largest amount of assistance Amtrak has received from the state in 30 years.

If ridership is growing, wouldn’t Amtrak want to increase service in order to meet demand? The fact that Amtrak isn’t doing this of its own accord tells me that it isn’t necessary. Why does government continue to pay for services that people don’t want or need?

Illinois struggles to meet it’s current fiscal needs, including massive unfunded liabilities in its pensions, why on earth would it promise to give more money to Amtrak? Something is telling me that someone’s brother is involved in this…

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