Monday, July 20, 2015

Amtrak - a Modest Proposal

Amtrak served over 30 million riders last year and brought in over $2 billion in revenue - yet they still needed another $1.4 billion from the Federal Goverment to jusy stay in business. That yearly infusion in Federal cash the past few years has ranged from $1.565 billion in 2010 to a low of $1.374 in 2013.

Here's what I suggest:

Let's say Amtrak continues to require another $1.4 billion per year for the foreseeable future. The IRS handled 14 million individual tax returns last year so if each individual tax return was billed an extra $100 then that $1.4 billion is covered. If you were supposed to get a $1,000 return then you'd only get a $900 check back plus a $100 Amtrak voucher good for travel on their "nationwide" rail network. If you were supposed to pay an additional $1,000 in taxes then that tax bill just became $1,100 (but hey you'd also get a $100 Amtrak voucher).

If this plan was adopted - how long do you think there'd be support for continued Amtrak funding?

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