I recently wrote about the furlough of 4,000 FAA employees. Delta and United raised their rates to reflect the difference in aviation taxes the FAA is no longer authorized to collect. Consumers who choose those airlines are, in essence, helping the fat cats get richer and helping those same fat cats send tens of thousands of families into a position where they’ll need their own personal debt recovery plan. How would you like to explain to your mortgage and utility companies that, uhhhh, Congress won’t let me work?
Democratic leaders made a choice to accept the “deal” because the threat of not raising the debt ceiling was the greater evil. Republican leaders made a choice to hold this evil over the American public’s heads for so many reasons – for the uninformed: misguided reasons; for the informed: just really bad reasons.
We still don’t have an FAA Reauthorization Bill. Congressional game-playing has resulted in millions of dollars being lost for nothing more than posturing. Families, businesses and communities are experiencing a loss of income for no other reason than someone trying prove a point. The American public seems to only see “debt ceiling,” “balanced budget,” and “no new taxes.” I’m wondering how long it will take before the absolute folly of the past few weeks really makes the history books.
I suggest a hard choice that Randy Babbitt, FAA Administrator, and Ray LaHood, DOT Secretary, should consider making. Shut the FAA down. No FAA Reauthorization bill to operate, no aviation services. Let all the towers stand empty and the radar rooms sit in total darkness. Tell us not to show up to work; we’re all furloughed. Issue stop work orders for ALL our contractors, from instructors to window cleaners. Let the pain travel faster and harder throughout the country as the absolute reality of how important the FAA is to the bottom lines of everyone in this country. Let everything travel via truck. No more Next Day Air, Second Day Air. Let prices on everything rise as the increased costs get passed onto the consumer immediately. (Think not? Just look at how fast Delta and United raised their ticket prices.)
Why not? It appears to be good enough for some of our Congressional types; let’s just follow their so-called “leadership.” It seems to me that if it’s appropriate for Congress to set the standard, it should be more than enough reason for Randy and Ray to follow that “standard.”
Now, Randy and Ray, I’m sure, won’t make that choice – they’d lose their jobs.
Oh, wait, those Congressional types won’t lose their jobs anytime soon for their bad choices. Not quite a level playing field, now is it?