Home Transportation Why Do We Subsidize Roads But Expect Profits From Amtrak?

Why Do We Subsidize Roads But Expect Profits From Amtrak?

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Amtrak's Capitol LimitedFederal, state & local governments spent nearly $193 billion on highways in 2008, recouping only about $30 billion of that in toll revenue. That means highways lost $160 billion, money we spent with no expectation of ever getting it back.

Yet when Congress spends a little over $1 billion on Amtrak, why do Republicans expect it to turn a profit?

If Amtrak is expected to turn a profit, shouldn’t highways be expected to do so as well? Why should Amtrak be asked to compete on an uneven playing field? It’s like asking Starbucks to turn a profit if Dunkin Donuts is handing out free coffee next door.

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