Trump budget cuts Amtrak (again)

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Anderson

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I've said this in various places before, but I don't know why Congress even bothers waiting for the President to submit their request(s). I have trouble even raising my blood pressure over these announcements.
 
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Amtrakfflyer

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My only worry is as the GOP becomes more and more the party of Trump they start to fall in place with him 100 percent doing and voting exactly as told. My personal opinion is it will all be over for them in November but who knows.

Amtrak has to have bipartisan support to survive. Trump/McConnell and GOP leadership are the most partisan politicians of our lifetimes.
 
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tim49424

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I'm not worried, as this budget will never pass the house and make it to the senate.
 

Barb Stout

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I have heard reports that even the Republican-controlled Senate has ignored most of Trump's budget requests when they contain weird deep cuts. I imagine the same will be true here. This is an area where there is some bipartisan support.
 
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Devil's Advocate

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DOA,as in Dead on Arrival!!!
Same as whatever budget the current House is likely to pass. If Trump wins a second term, or simply refuses to step down after losing, then chances are good we'll enter yet another government shutdown. Although it's hard to imagine a president losing when the other candidate has to survive nearly limitless interference from domestic dark money groups and foreign governments who now have the green light to meddle as much as they please.
 
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west point

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Just for grins. the present governor of Georgia has taken a page from Trump's playbook. He has refused to consult with the legislature and is throwing out many programs that have gone on for years. Do not be fooled they are important and many are abandoning our farmers !Note farmers still waiting for hurricane relief from Michael.
 

sttom

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How many times has Amtrak's budget been zeroed in proposed budgets? Aren't we on round 3 just with Trump? Congress has always said no, the problem is expansion also gets a no.
 

lordsigma

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Trump himself likely knows (and cares) little about Amtrak one way or the other. The Amtrak cutting is likely written by administration staffers tied to the Heritage Foundation. Additionally the secretary of transportation was involved in Heritage. Heritage have been heavily involved in drafting Trump’s White House budgets so far. Trump himself is focused on a very narrow set of issues that he campaigned on - the rest of his administrations policies are formulated by conservative think tanks like Heritage (even though there is a lot of areas where these groups conflict with Trump’s populist stances on certain issues.)
 
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Devil's Advocate

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Do not be fooled they are important and many are abandoning our farmers! Note farmers still waiting for hurricane relief from Michael.
I guess this is another example of how you reap what you sow.

I'm not worried, as this budget will never pass the house and make it to the senate.
Keyword in this is "Proposed". Simple as that folks.
Congress has always said no, the problem is expansion also gets a no.
Proposing a limited or nonexistent budget doesn't mean Amtrak will suddenly be removed from existence, but it does mean that additional political capital will need to be expended to save it. Since there is only so much capital for supporters to spend if Amtrak's operating budget is protected from harm some other system or project is likely to end up with collateral damage.
 
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Michigan Mom

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He also wants to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps, with full support from all his sycophants. The uber wealthy don't care about trains! They don't really care about handouts, either, they just want to ensure they get all of them. Every tax "cut" is actually a gift to someone who is already rich, and leaves less of public money to be used for the public good. I am so tired of the poor subsidizing the rich!
There is more than enough money in the treasury to cover basic services including public transportation assistance, if we stop starting and funding wars and channeling taxpayer money into the President's hotels at $500/night.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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I share your anger and frustration. The best thing we can do for our health and well being is get family and friends registered to vote. Only something like 50 percent of people actually vote. The 50 percent that don’t vote are often the ones who get hurt the most by the policies you mentioned. The second best thing I’ve found for me is to just tune out the news and recharge for a few days at a time. The world goes on regardless.

Fortunately Amtrak is mostly a bipartisan creature. It still sucks that one person can draft a budget that goes against the will of the majority of the people and 500 plus members of Congress.
 

flitcraft

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About a year ago, I went on a news diet--I read the news twice a week. That's enough to be well informed, but it keeps me from fixating on today's outrage-du-jour, which wasn't good for my blood pressure. And I agree about LD trains--being able to completely unplug from the online world is a feature, not a bug!
 

JRR

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He also wants to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps, with full support from all his sycophants. The uber wealthy don't care about trains! They don't really care about handouts, either, they just want to ensure they get all of them. Every tax "cut" is actually a gift to someone who is already rich, and leaves less of public money to be used for the public good. I am so tired of the poor subsidizing the rich!
There is more than enough money in the treasury to cover basic services including public transportation assistance, if we stop starting and funding wars and channeling taxpayer money into the President's hotels at $500/night.
I write not to argue with your opinions as to the budget or what policies you think should be given priority.

I merely want to point out that a "tax cut" is not a gift to the rich or anyone else. The money from which taxes are paid are not "public money" but rather the money earned by the individual. The thought that other people have a "right" to another's money or the right to determine what someone else needs is misguided at best.
 

AFS1970

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I don't think this is a matter of Trump or anyone else who may be rich not caring about trains. Amtrak has been a strange hybrid of public/private since it was formed. If the original idea was for it to e self-sufficient or even profitable it failed. If the goal was to take over the train service the private railroads were abandoning then it was a success. In general Trump seems to be of the opinion that private industry can do many things better than the government. While I think this may be right, my biggest worry is that private industry already said no to this and I am not sure cutting the budget will spur the desired private development.

I have also seen similar moves on a local and state level, cut funding to something, then negotiate restoration in return for what you really want cut or increased. I suspect that Amtrak may be a pawn of this type.
 

sttom

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Since there is only so much capital for supporters to spend if Amtrak's operating budget is protected from harm some other system or project is likely to end up with collateral damage.
There is also the issue of one party being ambivalent at best to train service outside the northeast and only half of the other fighting to keep their services. And if we want to talk expansion, people here can't even agree on the need for more federal money for corridor and day services, so there likely isn't anyone pushing for any major expansion. Best we get is some proposals to tinker around the edges while major cities go without useful services. And it's not like Republicans are anti train, North Carolina managed to start its own service and Georgia wants their own trains too, hell a few have them have even saved Amtrak from their leadership's attempts to destroy it. The issue is there is a lack of a coherent message or plan to expand Nationwide.
 

Michigan Mom

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I'm not saying that I have a right to someone else's money. I simply think that others should pay their share. I've been working and paying into the system for decades. I have no problem with my tax money being used for the public good. Why should a wealthy corporation or individual pay less than I do?
Further, I am not saying that Republicans are anti-train. A Republican President created Amtrak! I am saying that the current administration budget (proposal) cuts funding for trains because it cuts services for the middle class and working poor, while giving more breaks to the wealthy elite.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I write not to argue with your opinions or what policies you think should be given priority. I merely want to point out that a "tax cut" is not a gift to the rich or anyone else. The money from which taxes are paid are not "public money" but rather the money earned by the individual. The thought that other people have a "right" to another's money or the right to determine what someone else needs is misguided at best.
Where I live nearly everyone is convinced that "handouts" are always bad while "tax cuts" are always good, but from a governmental policy perspective we're talking about two sides of the same coin.
 
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pennyk

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MODERATOR NOTE: Please try to keep this thread on the topic of Amtrak budget cuts and avoid other political commentary.

Thanks.
 

tonijustine

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May 3, 2017
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I guess this is another example of how you reap what you sow.




Proposing a limited or nonexistent budget doesn't mean Amtrak will suddenly be removed from existence, but it does mean that additional political capital will need to be expended to save it. Since there is only so much capital for supporters to spend if Amtrak's operating budget is protected from harm some other system or project is likely to end up with collateral damage.
There will be absolutely no political capital to save it. All spending bills must originate in the House, which is disinclined to give Trump his way in anything.
 
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