Hurry, Hurry, Hurry.

See how a tax stand-off really works. See the Debt Crisis in microcosm unfold before your very eyes.

Going almost without notice, and certainly no media fanfare, the House GOP and Senate Democrats had been wrangling for weeks over re-financing the FAA’s $16B annual budget.

As in the Debt Ceiling debate, the House sent over a bill to the Senate last week which was rejected by Reid & Co. Just like the several debt ceiling proposals. At issue was a tax renewal (app $6 per ticket to every commercial passenger) to 1) fund FAA construction projects at airports around the country ( I didn’t even know that was federal jurisdiction), as well as subsidize out-of-the-way airports, you know, those airports to nowhere,such as the one ex-Marine John Murtha  (RIH) built in his district.

The details of the fight between the GOP and the Senate has largely gone under-reported. (What is being reported now is that the greedy airlines are pocketing that $6.)

If you didn’t know it, every air traveler subsidizes flights into these out-of-the-way airports by keeping rates low. They should take a lesson from the postal service, who is closing 3653 post offices that are losing money. And with the sudden dry-up of funds that may be in the future, I can think of all sorts of things to do with those runways, can’t you?

Can you spell D-R-A-G  S-T-R-I-P?

Tough Love

There’s cause for sadness here, for most, almost all of the 4000 laid off are GS-13’s or under, or contract employees, and generally nice people. They work hard, cut the grass, some even go to church on Saturday or Sunday and are generally good people, never knowing they had signed on with the Employer-From-Hell.  Most are not “political”, at least not until this week.

But firm that jaw, for we need more of this, much more, for cutting the federal budget means firing, getting rid of, “riffing” tens of thousands of these people, for every federal job lost represents the potential for five jobs restored in the private sector.

Expect many of these 4000 to be treated very unfairly by their own front offices, for many jobs that will be saved inside the FAA,  just as many corporate offices, will be based on cronyism, not merit and not job function. The people with the least voice will be those pushed out first, and they will be found across FAA’dom.

Geithner “Cannot Protect American People”

Tim Geithner told Chris Wallace on Sunday that “the government cannot guarantee protection for the American people…”  if Congress cannot reach a deal in the Debt Ceiling debate.

These (FAA) are the American people he really (in code) spoke about, and not the millions of seniors and veterans he outwardly threatened. The government sends out millions of social security checks each month, but it sends out millions of paychecks each month as well.

It will send out far fewer paychecks if the two sides cannot find a meeting of the minds. While painful, this is a necessary thing.

The FAA layoffs are a microcosm of what will probably happen if the GOP House holds the line on its pledge, thus allowing the Senate and President to put the federal government into partial shutdown.

While John Boehner is intent on “bargaining with himself” (h/t Specialist for the one-liner of this entire debate), and which is an apt euphemism for “self-Congress”, it seems…

…I’m just asking, if it’s this easy at FAA, why aren’t we throwing monkey-wrenches into DOE’s, EPA’s, Interior’s, budget as well?

As John Boehner says, “A real path to the future.”


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