Almost as soon as the Amtrak train carrying over 200 people derailed in Philadelphia there was a knee-jerk reaction by some to blame the derailment on the lack of investment to infrastructure. The derailment left eight people dead and the idea that if only Congress spent more money on cross country railways, those eight people would still be alive is as absurd as it is disgraceful. The train entered the turn going 106 miles per hour in a turn with a speed limit of 50 miles per hour. Any train going around a turn at more then twice the speed limit is very likely going to derail, regardless of the level of government spending.
Whenever there is a problem, or a perceived problem, the Democrats rush to nearest TV camera and set of microphones to advance the cause of government “investment.” They are never asked how questions such as,” much is enough?” and “At what point does investing turn into blindly throwing money at the problem?”
If lack of funding is to blame for train derailments perhaps Amtrak employees can start by returning some $7 million of stolen funds from Amtrak’s food services since 2002; Amtrak also loses money every year. The solution to the supposed problem of America’s deteriorating infrastructure according to our liberal friends is more “investment” in things such as high-speed rail. As Rich Lowry writes, the United States is not Europe and few places outside of the Northeast have the population density to support such a project. Amtrak has never made a profit regardless of how much money the government allocates to it.
Other areas that full under infrastructure include the highway system. The Highway Trust Fund is running amount of money, but the problem of the Highway Trust Fund is another example of the government trying to come up with a solution to a problem the government created in the first place. According to the Heritage Foundation 25% of the Highway Trust Fund go to projects that are not highway related. If the highways of America need to be upgraded the first step should be to get the government to stop using robbing its own trust funds.
Shortly before Amtrak occupied the nightly newscasts it was Baltimore and the riots that took place in that city. After the riots what The Baltimore Sun’s Luke Broadwater and Yvonne Wenger described as “School Advocates” demanded that Baltimore spend more money on its school system. However, Baltimore schools are second in the nation when it comes to per-student spending.
Nationally, The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a 2013 report that the United States spends over $15,000 per student, more than any other developed nation. The OECD average was just over $9,300. Despite holding the top spot on the list the United States still lags behind other countries in areas such as math and science. The report also stated that the US spends 7.3% of the country’s gross domestic product on education. The average OECD was 6.3%. The left always like to say that we should spend less on the military and more on education but, by comparison only 3.8% of GDP is attributed to defense, which is 14th highest in the world. As if throwing money at a problem was bad enough, considering the country is over $100 trillion in the red, the idea that the government should be throwing more money at education by doing things such as making community college free is insane.
For the big spenders the amount of money spent on domestic expenditures is never enough and whenever something goes wrong the solution is always the same: Spend More. Whether its infrastructure, education, green energy, or a collection of other things. The country is broke and eventually Uncle Sam is going to have to pay his bills and the futile efforts of massive spending over the decades have not helped the American education system. The problems and tragedies of America are not due to lack of what thee left likes to call “investment.” If every train wreck, literal or figurative, could be solved by more spending, then the government always needs to spend more because the current level is never enough. Eventually people like Obama and Bernie Sanders are going to run out of rich people to tax, meaning more debt, more taxes, or both for the rest of us.