Thursday, February 05, 2009

What's wrong with rail?!?

From the NYT today:

Anxious over the ballooning size of the proposed economic stimulus package, now at more than $900 billion, lawmakers in both parties are working on a last-minute plan to strip tens of billions of dollars from the bill.

The effort is being led by two centrist senators, Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, and Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who say they would like to pare from $50 billion to $200 billion from the package...

This sounds like a reasonable effort to focus the bill, but it's things like this that I don't get:

Among the initiatives that could be cut are $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, $14 million for cyber security research by the Homeland Security Department, $1 billion for the National Science Foundation, $400 million for research and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, $850 million for Amtrak and $400 million for climate change research...

I don't understand why our lawmakers are congenitally opposed to supporting transportation (specifically rail) measures. Amtrak provides jobs, transportation, and the potential for reducing congestion on our roads and highways, and yet it always seems to be one of the first on line for the chopping block. Seriously: what the fuck?!?