Bias Anyone?

As I looked through the paper this morning, I noticed the Parade Magazine cover story “Can We Save Our Trains?” While I don’t expect stellar journalism from such a fluff-oriented magazine, I was astonished by the biased nature of the article. For the record, I like trains and enjoy riding them when it is the sensible thing to do, but the article read more like it was written by Amtrak than a genuine news story.
For starters, the author states that our national rail system is “inadequate, relying on aging equipment and a shrinking route map.” Of course, these woes are the result of “inadequate government support.” So, why aren’t the airlines facing the same problems? The answer, quite simply, is that they buy their own equipment and don’t rely on the federal government because airlines can actually make money. Amtrak, on the other hand, is a politically-designed train system that diverts resources away from popular routes in the Northeast in order to fund routes in sparsely-populated areas (like New Mexico!)
The so-called underinvestment problem is further discussed in the Parade article when the author states that Amtrak received $1.3 billion while highways got $40 billion and the airlines $14 billion. Of course the difference is that much of that money allocated to roads and airlines is in the form of user fees. Amtrak on the other hand is funded out of general revenue.
The fact is that long-haul passenger trains are viable in densely-populated regions like the Northeast Corridor, some places in California, and perhaps Florida. Unfortunately, until we kill Amtrak and sell its assets to private investors, we’ll never know and America will never have a viable rail system. Iin the meantime, Congress will continue to waste taxpayer money on a socialist railroad ignorantly advocated for by the media.