Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Amtrak tragedy: Will It Become Political?

Prayers are headed to Philadelphia to the the victims of the Amtrak train that crashed.  It was a tragedy. And with every tragedy there is someone who tries to take advantage of it to advance a political agenda.  My guess is it will be to call for more spending on infrastructure.

And it wouldn't be the first time either, as in May of 2013 the Washington Post ran an article suggesting that more money should be spent on infrastructure after the collapse of a bridge along Interstate 5 in Washington. So, every tragedy has to be taken advantage of politically by someone.  I mean, it shouldn't, but it usually is.

So, who's going to be the first to take advantage of this tragedy?

I didn't have to work today, and it's rather cool outside, so I spent quality time listening to accounts of the crash.  And then one commentator said this (paraphrasing):  "It's possible one of the possible causes might be infrastructure.  If, for instance, the track caused this crash, it might indicate the need for more spending."

Aha.  And he wasn't the first.  So that's when it occurred to me that I was on to something.  And then I read the transcripts on the Rush Limbaugh show and that's what he talked about.  He said that over a trillion dollars has been allocated to infrastructure since 2008.

He said:
"It's predictable as easily as the sun coming up in the morning. We're gonna hear that we need to really ramp up infrastructure spending. We're gonna hear hand-wringing, see hand-wringing and complaints, "How could this have happened? We are letting our country just become dilapidated right in front of our eyes. Where is all the infrastructure spending?" And at that point somebody needs to say, "You have asked for over a trillion dollars in infrastructure spending since 2008, and we'd like to see where the money already allocated for infrastructure spending has actually gone."
 According to, the efforts to do this have already begun by the NBC network.

Since when does throwing more money at something ever solve a problem? We increase education spending every year, and our national ranking continues to plummet.  We allocate a trillion dollars for infrastructure, and people complain about it now more than ever.

Further reading: