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Trump and Amtrak/Budget cutting funding


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#241 Eric S

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 07:25 AM

Trump's proposed budget should reflect his thoughts on where to cut the waste after a thorough analysis. The proposed budget cuts all funding for long distance trains. Therefore, Trump believes that Amtrak's long distance trains are a waste. There's simply nothing more to wait for to see what Trump's plans are; the proposed budget is our insight into that.

Exactly. The budget plans released so far indicate the administration's general philosophy regarding spending and as it pertains to Amtrak, the "improvements" it involves are cutting long distance trains.



#242 Rover

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:00 AM

Trump's proposed budget should reflect his thoughts on where to cut the waste after a thorough analysis. The proposed budget cuts all funding for long distance trains. Therefore, Trump believes that Amtrak's long distance trains are a waste. There's simply nothing more to wait for to see what Trump's plans are; the proposed budget is our insight into that.

Exactly. The budget plans released so far indicate the administration's general philosophy regarding spending and as it pertains to Amtrak, the "improvements" it involves are cutting long distance trains.


Then I guess I will be traveling outside the US to spend my LD train money ...

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#243 RSG

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:02 AM

If only #MAGA stood for Make Amtrak Great Again

That would actually be a good campaign for NARP...

#244 Bob Dylan

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:38 AM


Yes, the budget will be negotiated, and so on, and some LD trains will be funded, but it will not be status quo.
Some LD's will be sacrificed, and some will wind up in less than daily schedules.

Some could wind up split into medium distance day trains.

 
'Less than daily' schedules failed miserably in the mid-90's following the Mercer (consultant) driven cuts; What makes you think they would work in 2017?  
Excellent point!😉

Edited by Bob Dylan, 20 March 2017 - 12:04 PM.

 
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#245 jis

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:44 AM

Why are so many people already convinced that some LD trains will be cut, based on what has always been a DOA document, the Presidential budget proposal. It almost seems like half the AU members are eager to figure out a good excuse for cutting Amtrak service. The battle has hardly been joined yet. Clearly the young whippersnappers here never lived through Stockman and Reagan.



#246 JoeBas

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:57 AM

 

My opinion is that Trump will do a thorough analysis, cut the waste and improve Amtrak just like every other department. Just give him a chance!

 

ABSOLUTELY!  Thank you for your good comment!

 

 

So, what you're saying is, that what he proposed ($0 for Amtrak Long Distance), isn't what he's proposing?  We need to give him time to do a thorough analysis... AFTER he's made his recommendation?  

 

Partisan Politics Suck.  



#247 Bob Dylan

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:04 PM

Why are so many people already convinced that some LD trains will be cut, based on what has always been a DOA document, the Presidential budget proposal. It almost seems like half the AU members are eager to figure out a good excuse for cutting Amtrak service. The battle has hardly been joined yet. Clearly the young whippersnappers here never lived through Stockman and Reagan.

This!!!
 
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#248 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:17 PM

 

 

My opinion is that Trump will do a thorough analysis, cut the waste and improve Amtrak just like every other department. Just give him a chance!

 

ABSOLUTELY!  Thank you for your good comment!

 

 

So, what you're saying is, that what he proposed ($0 for Amtrak Long Distance), isn't what he's proposing?  We need to give him time to do a thorough analysis... AFTER he's made his recommendation?   Partisan Politics Suck.  

 

It's like watching a child trying to choose between two divorcing parents.  They cannot fathom why two things they love don't also love each other.  In the absence of comprehension they lash out with irrational emotion.


If I had a tumor I'd name it Marla.


#249 jis

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:27 PM

It's like watching a child trying to choose between two divorcing parents.  They cannot fathom why two things they love don't also love each other.  In the absence of comprehension they lash out with irrational emotion.

This ^ A dilemma that most committed Republicans and specially the T-Party types, who also like to avail of a train trip or two on Amtrak eternally suffer from.

#250 Maverickstation

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 04:20 PM

 Clearly the young whippersnappers here never lived through Stockman and Reagan.

 

OMG, what a stupid comment to make.

 

Trump is not Reagan, and these are very different times, and for the record I lived through and remember President's from Johnson on up.

 

Clearly with the budget proposed there will be some funding provided in the usual give and take of budgets, but there will be cuts, and other reductions

to make the budget work.  These are very different times from anything else in the past 56, or so years.

 

Ken


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#251 jis

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 04:31 PM

So you have a feeling that something will be cut therefore you think that anyone that thinks otherwise and is willing to wait and see, or try to do something about it, is stupid? OK, so noted ;)

 

Maybe something will get cut. But it is too early to throw in the towel already. We the few, who will actually go and talk to the Senators and Congressmen in April face to face, cannot go in with the assumption that something will be cut. That cannot be our starting position, 'cause then something will definitely get cut. Even those that are writing their Congresspeople, please do not tell them that well it is OK to cut half the trains. Stick to your guns and say nothing should be cut, if you feel we should keep Amtrak happy and healthy to the best of our abilities.

 

For the rest, it really does not matter since you are a non-participant in the decision making process.


Edited by jis, 20 March 2017 - 04:42 PM.


#252 neroden

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:50 PM

I will repeat: not only is this budget *completely* DOA in Congress, it doesn't even represent what Trump wants.  I am absolutely sure he didn't even read it.  It was just Xeroxed from some Heritage Foundation document.

 

Call your Congressman and demand full funding for Amtrak (and whatever else is cut in the "idiots' budget" proposed by the Trump administration).  Heck, call Trump.  The "idiots' budget" is sufficiently contrary to Trump's repeatedly stated desires that we know he won't fight for it and might fight against it.

 

In fact, I'd suggest pointing out to your Congressman that Trump wants more funding for infrastructure and specifically wants high speed trains.  Regardless of what the "idiots' budget" presented by his staffers says.


Edited by neroden, 20 March 2017 - 05:52 PM.

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#253 RSG

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 05:45 AM

We the few, who will actually go and talk to the Senators and Congressmen in April face to face, cannot go in with the assumption that something will be cut. That cannot be our starting position, 'cause then something will definitely get cut. Even those that are writing their Congresspeople, please do not tell them that well it is OK to cut half the trains. Stick to your guns and say nothing should be cut, if you feel we should keep Amtrak happy and healthy to the best of our abilities.

 
Absolutely. If anything, the opposite approach should be used. "Ridership is up! Equipment is getting older and more costly to maintain; therefore the budget should be increased, not zeroed out!"
 
 

I will repeat: not only is this budget *completely* DOA in Congress, it doesn't even represent what Trump wants.  I am absolutely sure he didn't even read it.  It was just Xeroxed from some Heritage Foundation document.
 
Call your Congressman and demand full funding for Amtrak (and whatever else is cut in the "idiots' budget" proposed by the Trump administration).  Heck, call Trump.  The "idiots' budget" is sufficiently contrary to Trump's repeatedly stated desires that we know he won't fight for it and might fight against it.
 
In fact, I'd suggest pointing out to your Congressman that Trump wants more funding for infrastructure and specifically wants high speed trains.  Regardless of what the "idiots' budget" presented by his staffers says.

To piggyback on the above, the sentiment is sound but the approach is somewhat lacking. Using the Bernie Approach is less effective in real life than it sounds on the stump. "Demanding" things rarely gets a positive response, particularly from someone not motivated to give it to you in the first place. Likewise, terms such as "idiots' budget" does not predispose one to think in positive terms about the situation.
 
Let's assume, at least for a moment, the most positive things about POTUS and the budget. (Yes, I know that's a Herculean task for some.) Let's assume that what was said on the campaign trail was true and that the President values passenger rail transport and let's also assume that he is sincere in funding and rebuilding infrastructure. Let's additionally assume that POTUS has not read details about the budget.
 
Now let's tie that into talking points for the people making the decision. When Congressman Dontreallygiveacarp says something like "I agree with the budget proposal as presented by the Administration and its goals" then a rejoinder might be "Are you aware of what President Trump said about passenger rail and infrastructure during the campaign?" "Don't you feel that he was somewhat correct in needing to rebuild our infrastructure and focus on things at home?" At this point few would say that what has been stated is an unreasonable goal or say "I think we should take the long distance rail budget and put it towards more foreign aid" so then facts can be presented about passenger numbers, effect on smaller communities with few travel options, and how infrastructure is a national issue and how rebuilding it puts America Back To Work and helps strengthen both the economy and the elements which keep it moving, etc, etc.
 
By that time, there should be food for thought for someone who might not have given it much thought at all and who would be otherwise inclined to just say "no" to anything other than the budget as presented. This approach works on both people making the sausage as well as those selecting the sausage to send out into the marketplace. You've given them a reason or two to fund passenger rail on terms they can reconcile with their own principles which in turn they can go home to proclaim how they furthered the President's agenda (or in the case of opponents, say they furthered their goals to benefit the American people despite the 'draconian' budget originally presented). Heck, if they get constituent contact which says "thank you for giving me a choice in my transportation options" and they can say they were happy to do so and are proud to have always supported such things as passenger rail, let 'em. They can lie about their support, but as long as it's there and the objective was met, it doesn't really make a difference.


Edited by RSG, 21 March 2017 - 05:49 AM.


#254 RSG

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 06:38 AM

These are very different times from anything else in the past 56, or so years.

Really? Even during the early 70s, when railroads were going bankrupt left and right, oil was cheap, air travel was king and Americans were convinced that if they couldn't drive somewhere, they could always fly there---quite likely via their own car within 30 years? Everyone was convinced that a century-old technology was on its way out and cobbling together Amtrak was the way to put an end to all this silliness about rail travel once and for all and just wind 'er down.

Given just that point in time (even aside from the early Reagan years), I'm perfectly fine living in the current era.



#255 Don Newcomb

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:07 AM

Exactly. The budget plans released so far indicate the administration's general philosophy regarding spending and as it pertains to Amtrak, the "improvements" it involves are cutting long distance trains.

I've been listening to various political annalists' comments and the general consensus is that Trump's budget proposal is just so much political posturing and will be DOA in Congress. POTUS does not control the purse strings, Congress does. Trump's budget proposal is just a statement of his political philosophy, nothing more. The more he sends crazy tweets the more Congress may be inclined to ignore him.



#256 A Voice

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:23 AM

 

 

 

Clearly with the budget proposed there will be some funding provided in the usual give and take of budgets, but there will be cuts, and other reductions

 

Source please?

 

You have already determined there will be cuts and tri-weekly trains (even though such an approach failed to produce the expected savings before) from a DOA budget proposal which Congress has hardly begun to even consider.  Amtrak doesn't know what its budget will be next year, neither does the administration, Congress, the Department of Transportation, or anybody else.  With respect, either you are just expressing an opinion as fact without any basis to support your arguments, or you can predict the future.  So, again, source please?

 

 

 

These are very different times from anything else in the past 56, or so years.

 

What - specifically - is so fundamentally different about 2017 than 1981?  



#257 VentureForth

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:00 AM

Watching the freaking out in the thread is hilarious.

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#258 Eric S

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:08 AM

 

Exactly. The budget plans released so far indicate the administration's general philosophy regarding spending and as it pertains to Amtrak, the "improvements" it involves are cutting long distance trains.

I've been listening to various political annalists' comments and the general consensus is that Trump's budget proposal is just so much political posturing and will be DOA in Congress. POTUS does not control the purse strings, Congress does. Trump's budget proposal is just a statement of his political philosophy, nothing more. The more he sends crazy tweets the more Congress may be inclined to ignore him.

 

Sure. Even in, oh, let's say more normal times, Congress significantly adjusts any administration's budget proposals. And this budget proposal will certainly be adjusted as well - perhaps even largely ignored. My point was not that administration's budget plans will be enacted exactly as presented, but rather that the budget proposal represents the administration's views with regards to Amtrak LD service.



#259 dlagrua

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 10:06 AM

If we are conducting a trial on this thread, is it not better to wait for the verdict before passing judgement?. I don't know what the future of Amtrak will hold and neither does anyone else on this forum. We can lobby for Amtrak support but congress will ultimately decide the transportation budget. 

If Amtrak is covering 94% of its costs then the answer for the fiscally conservative is simple; add 6% to the price of tickets and be done with it. I don't want to keep paying more but I would accept that to preserve whats left of our domestic long distance passenger rail system.



#260 Carolina Special

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 11:09 AM

If Amtrak could add 6% to their ticket prices they would already be doing that. And I believe it would require a much larger % ticket increase than 6% to break even.




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