The Corner

Morning Outrage: Amtrak Edition

Via Gary Leff of View from the Wing: Amtrak is sending emails to inform customers that they will get a discount on their train tickets if they donate money to organizations that will then lobby for more Amtrak subsidies. Here is the email:

Okay, let me see if I get this straight. First, a commercial business (Amtrak) is 100 percent owned by the federal government. It means that whatever money it needs to cover its cost that isn’t paid for by selling services to customers, it gets in subsidies from taxpayers. Second, Amtrak is effectively calling for actions by its customers that will indirectly increase the amount you and I will have to pay in subsidies (that’s the 10 percent discount on Amtrak rail fares) and increase lobbying efforts for the company to get more subsidies.

I am sure there is a name that describes what Amtrak is doing (besides scandalous) but I know that what the company deserves is to be privatized. That will help it focus its mind and energy on fiding ways to produce services that customers may want to pay for, rather than spending our money to help agitate for more government subsidies.

Seriously, privatize Amtrak.

The whole thing is here.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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