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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 10, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas 4A New Braunfels HeraMZeitung Friday May Has Amtrak reached the end of the line See below JAMES KILPATRICK O pinions HftraldZtitum Dave General Manager Robert Editor James Kilpatrick Amtrak Running out on a rail The future of Amtrak is not one of those cosmic in a class with StarWars and Social on which the fate of nations and politicians may Relatively the cost of maintaining passenger rail service is small Even the debate over Amtrak offers a fine example of the problems that Congress must face in cutting our federal On April an array of impressive wit nesses appeared before a Senate All but one of Budget Director David pleaded Arntraks rne try to sum up both These are among the arguments advanced by Arntraks proponents All forms of commercial transportation are federally subsidized in some The president has said that the taxpayers have to pungle up a subsidy of for every Amtrak ticket that is but if the cost of maintaining airports and air traffic controllers were similarly the perpassenger subsidy for Amtrak would not be out of Amtrak trains serve at least 29 communities that have no outlets by bus or Amtrak trains serve 19 million passengers a including a day between Washington and New Chaotic conditions would be created in the whole Northeast corridor if Amtrak is Still to let Amtrak go into bankruptcy would be to toss its billion in rolling stock onto a scrap Cessation would trigger enormous running into the to cover contracts with the rail The savings claimed by the Office of Management and Budget would be more than offset by these Amtraks ratio of revenues to costs is While passenger service never can be wholly self the mere existence of passenger cars would have great value if the nation again had to move great numbers of troops within the United To these arguments Stockman responds The overarching issue has to do with reducing the federal deficit as a That need is so urgent that only the most necessary government outlays should be Amtrak is not In a budget that must be pared back it ranks near the bottom of the program As for subsidies to other commercial at least bus and air travelers pay special taxes rail passengers pay Amtraks agreement with the rail unions an agreement imposed by Labor Secretary James Hodgson 13 years ago provides that if Amtrak goes every worker with at least six years seniority must receive full pay for six But this contingent liability is not the governments billion liability it is Amtraks billion In any Amtrak is not without salable Canada might buy some of the rolling stock the company owns such valuable properties as Penn Station in New operators might be found for the Northeast In our total transportation Am traks role is On a given airports in Atlanta and Chicago each will board as many passengers as the entire Amtrak system Only 14 of Amtraks 500 stations board more than 500 passengers a Average daily boardings number only 39 in 57 in 87 in 69 in Cincinnati and 59 in These passengers are carried at exorbitant cost to the taxpayers If such expenses as interest and depreciation were properly the per ticket subsidy woud not be it would be closer to The time has after 12 years of losses and billion in to give The proponents in my are They are not On this issue Stockman clearly has the better It is not necessary to argue the philosophical question of whether our government has any business in the train It is necessary only to revert to Stockmans principal point If these ap palling deficits ever are to be many pleasant but nonessential services will have to be Amtrak is among Its reached the end of the WORLP3 SHORTEST LIFE PI PP MANA6gR MIWCJ7E Your Mark White Governors Office Room 200 State Capitol Texas 78701 John Traeger Texas Senate Capitol Station Texas 78711 Edmund Kuempel Texas House of Representatives Box 2910 Texas 78769 Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate Room 240 Russell Bldg 20510 Phil Gramm United States Senate Washington 20510 Tom Loeffler House of Representatives 1212 Longworth House Office Bldg 20515 Mac Sweeney Guadalupe County House of Representatives 20515 Jack Anderson Drug kingpins get away with murder WASHINGTON The federal government has thrown all its law enforcement agencies into the war against But the drug traf fickers have some powerful friends on the federal Undercover drug agents have cracked the drug lords security at terrible Prosecutors have pressed their cases in the face of bribes and death Courageous juries have rendered guilty verdicts against ruthless drug dealers and their Hut all of these efforts to sweep up the sleaze are frustrated by judges who treat the kingpins of the nar cotics underworld like firstoffense A statistic study prepared by the General Accounting Office for Paul and Bill makes all too clear the failure of many federal judges to understand the seriousness of Americas debilitating weakness for The study examines the sen tences of Mafiosi and major drug dealers convicted in 37 federal district courts from 1962 to The government statisticians found that three out of four mobsters and drug kingpins drew less than the maximum prison In it is not unusual for a convicted federal offender to receive less than the maximum the GAO report But GAO sources told our associate Tony Capaccio that what we would have expected is that major drug dealers and major organized crime figures would have served more time than most federal when sentences that could have been imposed are In an examination of 759 con victions involving offenders classified as Class I the most im portant by the Drug Enforcement the GAO found that the average sentence was five years less than the 15year maximum that could have been For A Thailandbased heroin Somchai Chaiwat could have drawn 15 years in prison when he was sen tenced in a 1979 case in his sentence was seven In 247 Mafia cases examined by the four out of five sentences were six years shorter than the 10year maximum for the For Thomas Louis a onetime bodyguard of the late Joseph could have been sentenced to 20 years in prison for extortion and physical the GAO report the court imposed a 14month Federal judges arent the only slackers in the war on dope traf according to the GAOs The Parole Com mission also seems to have a soft spot in its heart for drug Even if they get a reasonably stiff the parole commission will let them back on the street Out of the cases examined by the 390 offenders have already had their sentences reduced by the parole And of 314 were drug dealers who had served an average sentence of only four years and four months of their 10year For Salvatore partner in a New York heroin drew a 15year sentence in late Despite the vehement protest of the federal Larca walked out the prison gate after five Angelo member of a New York mob was convicted in the early 1970s in a plot to distribute 53 pounds of He was sen tenced to 20 but the parole commission released him after he served And Alphonse a New York mobster involved in a major heroin served only six years and three months of a nine month He couldnt refuse In the perdition of the the chief demon is Ted who is regarded with the same loathing that Franklin Roosevelt used to President Reagan stirred insurrectionary when he announced that he will enter straight into the mans infernal abode on June Reagan has accepted an invitation to attend a fundraising event at the senators home to finance the John Kennedy What the scandalized fun damentalists dont know is that the invitation was personally delivered by the late presidents two now and John Caroline explained simply that other past presidents have been able to raise the funds themselves for their presidential libraries but that her father wasnt here to do Reagan was so witnesses that he placed his arm around Caroline and promised to do everything he could to After the Kennedy children left the Oval Of he ordered aides to cooperate completely with the Flat tax survey A reader was suspicious about a survey he got in the mail from a group he had never heard called Citizens for a Sound The questionnaire asked his views tin proposals for a flat tax of 10 percent on all income above ah requested a contribution of or as much as you can We checked on the and itfe Its chairman is former Rep Ron According to a the survey brought responses so The respondents overwhelmingly sup ported the flat which is hardly since the way it was presented it would save most tax payers The survey results will be sent to President Reagan and Citizens for a Sound Economy is still tabulating the fundraising part of its and offered no preliminary OF ANPWZKINPA WE YOU AH CHEW AH TO YOU KNOW Mailbag policy The HeraldZeitung welcomes the opinions of its and were happy to publish letters to the While readers opinions on local issues generally are of more interest to other we welcome letters on any topic national or international that the writer chooses to Content will not prevent publication unless the letter is judged to be potentially All letters to the editor should be signed and authorship must be verifiable by Anonymous letters will not bit Send your letter to Mailbag New Braunfels Drawer New Braunfels Texas Letters ma also be hand delivered to the offices at 186
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