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posted: 9/10/2012 1:49 PM

Amtrak funding in crosshairs in presidential race

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  • In this 2008 file photo, then-Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden mingles with passengers aboard the Amtrak Acela train from Washington to Wilmington, Del. The platform Republicans adopted at their convention last week includes a call for full privatization and an end to subsidies for the nation's passenger rail operator.

      In this 2008 file photo, then-Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden mingles with passengers aboard the Amtrak Acela train from Washington to Wilmington, Del. The platform Republicans adopted at their convention last week includes a call for full privatization and an end to subsidies for the nation's passenger rail operator.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Warning to Amtrak from Mitt Romney and Republicans: You're on your own.

The platform Republicans adopted at their recent convention includes a call for full privatization and an end to subsidies for the nation's passenger rail operator, which gobbled up almost $1.5 billion in federal funds last year.

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The platform says taxpayers dole out almost $50 for every Amtrak ticket.

At its core, the debate over Amtrak juxtaposes differing visions about what role government should play in ensuring access to public services.

For President Barak Obama, Amtrak symbolizes a communal investment in the American infrastructure that enables and catalyzes economic growth. For Romney, who built a career mending the balance sheets of unprofitable companies, dropping Amtrak fits neatly into his message of doing away with spending that government can't afford.

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