Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:35 PM
I think you recall right, GML, about President Bush proposing a zero budget for Amtrak every year. And see how far he got, even when he had BOTH houses of Congress on the Republican side. As I recall, President Reagan had some zero budgets for Amtrak as well. And cutting Amtrak's budget would, in the scheme of things, have about the same effect as throwing a deck chair off the Titanic.
And I've heard so many times candidates give off bold statements and find the political reality a whole nuther matter. Remember George H.W. Bush and "read my lips, no new taxes!!!"? The voters did---and when he was unable to keep that pledge, GHWB became a one-term President.
And, closer to home, in my Congressional district, in 1994, George Nethercutt, a Republican, ran on a promise of, if elected, only serving that one term, which was part of an anti-incumbent, term limits wave. He won---and his opponent was no ordinary long-term incumbant. He was Tom Foley, who was Speaker of the House Foley at the time. It was the first time in 130 years that the standing Speaker of the House was ousted. And Nethercutt??? Citing a vague notion that "there was more work to be done" went back on that promise to serve only one term. He in fact served five terms before stepping down in 2004 to run, unsuccessfully, for Senate here in Washington.
All that to say this (and I could cite many more examples): What candidates say they're going to do and what they end up doing is very often two different things. I will believe a zero budget for Amtrak when I see it, and not until then.
Amtrak Routes Traveled: City of New Orleans, State House/Lincoln Service, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, Capitol Limited, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Pacific Surfliner, Cardinal, Vermonter, Northeast Regional, Downeaster
Pre-Amtrak Routes Traveled: Empire Builder (Great Northern), North Coast Limited (Northern Pacific), Abraham Lincoln (Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio), City of Hinkle (Union Pacific) Panama Limited (Illinois Central)
Bustitutions: Portland-Spokane (EB),Galesburg-Bloomington (CZ/Lincoln Service )
Amtrak Miles: 85410
Pre-Amtrak Miles: 8478
Bustitution Miles: 450
Excursion trains ridden: Centralia and Chehalis Railroad, Mt. Hood Scenic Railroad, Alaska Railroad, 1880 Train (Black Hills Central RR) and trains at the Illinois Railway Museum, California Railway Museum, and the Monticello (IL) Railroad Museum.