• Free Market Vs. Government Rail

      Tonight, President Obama will propose a five year budget freeze. Yippee.  Except that it won’t affect Medicare. Or Social Security. Or the military. And current levels of spending are the highest ever.

      I don’t want to freeze spending.  The feds plan to spend 3.8 trillion dollars this year.  That’s nuts.  I want to cut!

      So on my show tonight, I’ll list some of the departments and programs that government should eliminate. Just one example is Amtrak, which has lost money every year since it was created in 1971. Let the free market work. It’s worked for freight rail. As The Economist notes:

      America’s freight railways are one of the unsung transport successes of the past 30 years. They are universally recognized in the industry as the best in the world.

      Their good run started with deregulation at the end of Jimmy Carter’s administration…. the freeing of rail freight, under the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, started a wave of consolidation and improvement. Staggers gave railways freedom to charge market rates, enter confidential contracts with shippers and run trains as they liked.

      After government stopped setting prices and “protecting consumers”, competition drove the price to move a ton of goods down dramatically:

      But politicians took a different tack with passenger rail. Foolish senators argued that a government-supported passenger rail company was “the last great hope to save rail passenger service." So they created Amtrak.  How’s that working out for us?

      Since it was created, there have been no productivity improvements. It now costs the government more to move one person one mile than ever before.

      (Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics)

      Killing Amtrak’s subsidies would save only $2 billion.  We must cut much more.   Tune in tonight at 11pm for live coverage of what else we should cut.

      Free Market