The squeeky wheel gets the grease axiom was proven again today with the Senate passing legislation for the FAA to shift funding to releive the ATC cutbacks and consequent aircraft delays.  The Reuters article can be read here.  The House is expected to pass and get this embarassing situation behind them.

The FAA was required to cut $637 million as their part of the sequestration cutback.  They took this from several parts of their budget, but the only part the public saw was the reduction in Air Traffic Controllers which resulted in delays at some, but not all, major airports.  The legislation will allow the FAA to take $250m from other parts of its budget to prevent or reduce furloughs.  Note that part.  The FAA received no additional money.

The sequestration is being used as a political toll by both sides. Duh.  The Administration is purposely taking the letter of the law down to the nth degree by saying every individual program, such as ATC salaries, must be cut individually.  The Republicans claim, with some logic, that they just told the Adminstration to cut each department by 10% and left the latitude up to them.  So the FAA Adimistrator could have said cut back on Navaid projects planned and prioritize funding to operational aspects like ATCs, but did not.  So in the end, the FAA still endures the same cutback, but the Adminstration scores points with the public that the sequestration is being used as a tool to draconically cut public services.

I can’t say that DOD is much better, except that their whining actually did result in more money being thrown their way.  I know for my civilian staff, we have gone from 22 days of furlough to 14 and now the rumor is possibly none.  In the end, the sequestration is accomplishing something that the Republicans wanted.  Everything in the Government is cutback except for a few things that result in the public screaming about.  So even if they give back money to DOD or the FAA, they are still seeing most of the cuts hold.  I feel sorry for those Government agencies that no one loves.

Good thing I am not a Park Ranger or State Department employee…

Posted by glenn | 3 Comments

3 responses to “Senate Passes Law to Fund FAA Cutbacks”

  1. Mikey says:

    Where are the fees that are part of a plane ticket going ( air port fees ) ?

    are they being siphoned off for other than what they should be used for?

  2. Vicente says:

    Or a child in Head Start
    Or a Senior living at the margins helped by Meals on Wheels
    Or missing out a future heart disease or cancer cure because those researchers were laid off
    Or eating food that may have missed inspection

    Yeah it’s only things you don’t see right now. And what really matters is the FIRST WORLD problem of your flight schedule right?

  3. glenn says:

    @Mikey – Yes, much like the gasoline taxes you pay to fix the highways, all those “self-funding” taxes and fees just go into the Treasury and it is up to Congress where the money actually goes.

    You do know there is no bank vault holding all of our Social Security funds, right? Just one big IOU.

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