Sen. Chuck Schumer Falsely Blames Amtrak Crash on Funding
Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 15, 2015
The Amtrak train crash earlier this week resulted in the death of eight and dozens of seriously injured. The victims were not even buried before this tragedy became a political tool championed by Democrats to increase governmental spending.
The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) quickly concluded that the train crash occurred due to operator error. The train was traveling over 100 mph, twice the safe speed at that point in the track. While operator error was the cause, Democrats immediately began placing blame on Republicans who supposedly refused to supply funding to Amtrak to install the safety equipment that could have avoided the accident.
“Speaker Boehner’s comments are patently false. Experts have made clear that Positive Train Control could have prevented the tragedy in Philadelphia. It is simply a fact that insufficient funding for Amtrak has delayed the installation of PTC, and to deny a connection between the accident and underfunding Amtrak is to deny reality.”
While this Blog is no fan of Republican Speaker of the House Boehner, in this case it is Schumer who is “patently false” and “denying reality”. Here are the facts reported by the New York Times:
- In 2008, seven years ago, Congress mandated installation of Positive Train Control system in trains, the system mentioned by Schumer.
- The Amtrak train involved in the crashed was already equipped with Positive Train Control.
- The main reasons Positive Train Control in the Amtrak train was not operational were due to technical hurdles and bureaucratic bungling.
- Amtrak took four years to obtain the wireless frequencies needed for the Positive Train Control system, which were finally approved by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in March, 2015.
This tragedy and the way Democrats attempt to use it to further their political agenda is telling at various levels. First, it demonstrates that Schumer is either ignorant, a liar or both. It further demonstrates the incompetence of government to implement its own regulations.
Liberals offer a basic solution to any societal problem; throw money at it. Since Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, and more specifically since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the United States has gone through perhaps the most expensive social reengineering experiment in history. The results are in and they show failure. A prime example is the War on Poverty initiated by Lyndon Johnson. After spending trillions on this “war”, the poverty rate remains nearly unchanged in 50 years. Then there is Nixon’s War on Drugs that has failed in its efforts to stem the flow of drugs to the United States, has resulted in the growth of cartels south of the border, and led to too many inner-city “capitalists” being imprisoned. Examples are nearly endless. But still Progressives call for more spending and more government. That is indeed insanity.