There’s something very wrong with liberals. Very, very wrong. They love to take political advantage of the dead, whether it’s Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Benghazi or the Amtrak dead.
The bodies of the dead in the Amtrak crash weren’t cold- and perhaps hadn’t even been recovered yet- when the left began using the Amtrak tragedy to hammer Republicans, blaming budget cuts for the crash. You see, it was budget cuts that made the train go twice as fast as it was supposed to be going. Predictably, the NY Times jumped in with both feet:
Such spending now represents about 1.5 percent of total economic activity, down from about 1.8 percent on average from 1993 through 2008. It’s at its lowest level in at least 22 years. (A hat-tip to Joe Weisenthal, of Business Insider, who calculated this statistic in 2013, after the collapse of a bridge near Seattle.)
Did you see it? Did you see that history ended in 2008? We’re going to get to that in a minute, because history did not end in 2008 and then start up again once the GOP took the House and Senate in 2012. Let’s call it “The Time of Missing History.”
Megyn Kelly was ripping angry at democrats’ exploitation of the horror:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiwqOdX7Gjk
As we’ve noted, according to the left history stopped in 2009 and then began again in 2012. Well, let’s crank up the Wayback Machine once again and find that lost history. Back in 2009 there was something called a democrat controlled Congress and something else called a democrat President. And back in 2009 there was something called a “stimulus” passed by that democrat Congress and democrat President. It came to about $800 billion or so.
At the moment, democrats can’t complete a sentence without the word “infrastructure.” OK, let’s check out how important that was to them back in The Time of Missing History. democrats promised a “historic” investment in infrastructure:
DEMOCRATS, Republicans chant, are irresponsible big spenders. But in the run-up to the mid-terms, the Democrats ought to have had one example of spending at its best: investment in infrastructure. When they passed the $787 billion stimulus bill in February 2009, they promised an historic investment in roads, bridges and rail. It would put Americans to work quickly and raise productivity in the long term, a Keynesian kick with benefits for years to come. But this ambitious plan has had middling results. Infrastructure is still in need of investment; unemployment in the construction sector was 17.2% in September. Barack Obama is touting a new $50 billion infrastructure proposal, but as the mid-terms loom, it is probably too late.
The stimulus bill’s spending on infrastructure may have been doomed to mediocrity from the start. First, and most important, a relatively small share of the bill was actually devoted to infrastructure. Mr Obama called the bill “the largest new investment in our nation’s infrastructure since Eisenhower built an interstate highway system in the 1950s.” But even on the broadest definition of the term, infrastructure got $150 billion, under a fifth of the total. Just $64 billion, or 8% of the total, went to roads, public transport, rail, bridges, aviation and wastewater systems.
By 2011, the actual stimulus infrastructure was only 3%.
Economists on both sides of the aisles argue that one reason why the stimulus failed is that it wasn’t designed properly. Stanford University’s John Taylor, for instance, has argued that although much money was spent, very little stimulus money was spent in the form of actual government purchase. In a paper with he co-authored with John Cogan, Taylor finds that, out of the total $682 billion package, federal infrastructure spending was just $0.9 billion in 2009 and $1.5 billion through the first half of 2010—or less than four-tenths of 1 percent. Taylor and Cogan also noted that most of the money generated by tax cuts was saved, not spent, and that the money that went to state governments was spent to reduce the states’ reliance on borrowing and on other “non-purchase” items, such as transfer payments, subsidies, and interest payments. In other words, the additional money that went to states and taxpayers didn’t change a thing. Taylor claims that a better-designed stimulus would have probably been more effective.
Of that money, grants of $1.3 billion were allocated to Amtrak. $8 billion was designated for “Grants for capital investments in designated high-speed rail corridors” and another $8.4 billion for “Public transit improvements and infrastructure investments.”
So what happened? Where did the money go? Why wasn’t this section of track improved? Why wasn’t the safety equipment that it is alleged “could have prevented” this crash installed?
Back in The Time of Missing History Barack Obama was obsessed with high speed rail and not safety.
Amtrak may also have itself contributed to this mess:
Amtrak managers have improperly interfered with oversight of the railroad’s $1.3 billion in economic stimulus funding, according to an independent report by a former federal prosecutor.
The report commissioned by Amtrak’s former inspector general says the railroad’s lawyers and financial managers interfered with the internal watchdog’s ability to get stimulus-related documents and the $5 million Congress appropriated for stimulus oversight.
The cherry on this dog poop cake? Joe Biden was in charge of overseeing stimulus spending.
You’re going to hear frequently about “Positive Train Control” and how it might have prevented the Amtrak crash if not for Republicans. The fact is, it has been planned and paid for:
How much will it cost?
The estimated cost for developing, installing and deploying PTC on the Metrolink system is $210.9 million. Metrolink secured full funding from local, state and federal sources. Approximately 34 grants were secured.
Installation is well under way:
According to the January/February issue of Amtrak Ink, a publication for employees, Amtrak had equipped about 400 miles of track with the advanced system. That included the New England Line, from Boston to New Haven; the New York Line, from New Brunswick, N.J., to Trenton; and the Mid-Atlantic Line, from Perryville, Md., to Wilmington, Del. The next step is another 1,200 miles of track, including the rest of the Northeast Corridor.
Investigators said Wednesday that they would seek to determine why the stretch of track where the accident occurred was not in service yet. But for safety advocates, accidents on passenger trains involving excessive speeds in recent years clearly demonstrate the need.
The bottom line is that speeding was the cause of this wreck. Period.
The safety equipment is being installed now. It simply had not reached that section of track as yet. That is unfortunate but blaming the GOP for this crash is a canard. It is reminiscent of Obama and Susan Rice blaming the Benghazi attacks on a video. It is reminiscent of Hillary Clinton standing over the bodies of the Benghazi dead and promising to bring the video maker to justice. democrats’ continued abuse of the dead for cheap political gain is breathtaking.
It is despicable.