Infrastructure spending debate erupts after Amtrak crash

Is more spending the answer?



MICHELLE FIELDS: They’re politicizing this tragedy. Look, when someone has a car accident because they’re driving too quickly and they kill someone we don’t say “we need to fix the bridges, we need to fix the roads”. We say “why were you going so fast?” It appears this accident was caused by human error. It wasn’t caused by those “evil” republicans on Capitol Hill. We give $1 billion a year to Amtrak, and there’s nothing that they could have done to stop this guy from speeding. They already mandate speed-control systems in Amtrak. So it’s not about republicans.

WAYNE ROGERS: It’s a technical thing. All of these infrastructures have an amortization schedule. This was supposed to be taken care of over a certain amount of time. By the way, was an accident in 1943 at this same turn. These are human errors. They have nothing to do with the spending on the infrastructure. When that woman stood up and said “we don’t even know the cause of this”, and then went on to say “oh, we’ve got to spend more money”—that tells you right away they don’t know what the hell they’re doing. 

JONATHAN HOENIG: Amtrak is essentially socialized rail travel. It’s government-owned, it’s government-funded, it’s government controlled. Amtrak hasn’t made a profit in its 30 plus years of existence. In fact, they lose money on every single trip.

JESSICA TARLOV: I think it’s time to spend money wisely. I would agree with Michelle that it’s the fault of the driver, but also Amtrak. They knew they had to install the technology that may have actually prevented this crash, and they didn’t do it. They had the funds to do it.


WAYNE ROGERS: I don’t think of myself as a typical Hollywood person, at all, but this exists elsewhere, too. Politicians do the same thing. If you went through and photographed all of the homes of the House and the Senate in California I think you’d find the same thing going on. You pick on Hollywood because they shoot their mouths off too much and talk about these things and then don’t do it. But it goes on everywhere.

JONATHAN HOENIG: If someone doesn’t practice what they preach that should immediately disqualify their argument. I feel kind of sorry for a lot of these Hollywood celebs, because if they actually practiced environmentalism they’d be unhappy, inconvenienced, and ultimately dead because environmentalism is all about sacrificing yourself to nature—putting nature ahead of man. So of course, don’t fill your swimming pools, don’t drive your car, don’t eat meat, don’t use the land.

JESSICA TARLOV: They should play by the same set of rules as everybody else. Governor Brown has talked about increasing the fine to $10,000. I still don’t think that’s really going to do anything to the liked of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.

MICHELLE FIELDS: The problem is they have government in control of water. Get the government out. The thing I have a problem with is these celebrities are against things like the Keystone Pipeline, and they say “oh we care about the environment so much”, and they’re depriving tons of Americans from thousands of jobs. Yet here they are throwing water on their country club-like homes, and then telling Americans “well, maybe you shouldn’t shower as regularly to save water”. Give me a break!


JONATHAN HOENIG: I can empathize with Tom. I played in the NFL for a couple of years. A lot of people don’t know that. Listen, there might be a little bit of schadenfreude about this—like we build people up, and we love to tear them down. But the truth is you don’t just obtain values long-term by lying. 95 years ago Shoeless Joe Jackson admitted to being part of the White Sox scandal, and his image long-term was improved.

JESSICA TARLOV: A lot of what the NFL does doesn’t seem very fair and balanced. We were talking about this story during the commercial break. I think it’s really interesting what the NFL is saying about their values and ethics. I mean, they suspend Tom Brady for 4 games over this, but Ray Rice, who committed a very serious, domestic abuse offence, only got 2 games.

MICHELLE FIELDS: The evidence against him is pretty compelling. I think that he should just fess up to whatever he knows, hand over his communications with these people. He has nothing to gain from it, because if he does, people are only going to question his legacy and his entire career. And let’s be honest, he doesn’t play for 4 games he has more time with his hot wife—who cares? It’s a good deal for him!

WAYNE ROGERS: The Patriots have been caught cheating before. Look, you have rules for a game; we have laws for certain things. Abide by them. If you don’t want to abide by them, and you get caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing you should be punished. It’s as simple as that. I don’t know yet whether he was guilty or not guilty. It appears that he might have been, but we don’t know that yet.