I prefer traveling by train, rather than airplane, for a few reasons. The tickets are cheaper and the seats are roomier. Amtrak doesn't feel the need to scan my shoes before I board, and I can take along a full-size bottle of shampoo, as well as bottled water purchased at a dollar store, rather than from an airport vendor.
But planes have one huge advantage: speed. Southwest Airlines
However, we like to get places as quickly as possible. I'm in the minority choosing an 11-hour train ride from Washington, D.C., to an Amtrak station near my hometown in mid-Vermont, instead of a 90-minute flight.
So here's my question: Will grumpy taxpayers someday target the federal government's multimillion-dollar support of Amtrak as an undeserved "bailout"? And what about the $8 billion of earmarks contained in the stimulus package for high speed rail? Shouldn't airlines be allowed to triumph, if that's what paying customers want? For now, I think the government has bigger fish to fry, but rail subsidies won't escape criticism and scrutiny.
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Fool online editor Kris Eddy owns no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article. Southwest Airlines is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy likes daisies.