House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica says that Amtrak is losing $84 million a year on its food services. A recent report from the Amtrak inspector general says that at least part of the loss is due to thefts from Amtrak food-service personnel.
Florida Representative Sandy Adams–who, due to redistricting, is facing Mica in this year’s election–says that Mica’s criticism of Amtrak’s losses is “an election-year stunt.” Adams, who is supposed to be a Republican, is critical of Mica’s solution, which is to turn over food service to private companies. Why “put taxpayers on the hook to continue a subsidy to the companies who win the concession bid”? asks Adams.
Of course, the answer is that private companies are more efficient, less likely to have onerous pension and health care liabilities, and will probably have better methods of making sure employees don’t steal from them. Any Republican should know this answer, but Adams’ response to Mica is no doubt an election-year stunt.