Thursday, April 25, 2013

Government Playing Games ... Airports, Unions and Government ... Politics Sucks

Government waste is on display all the time and in every part of America. Yet government officials choose to ignore it.

That's the real story behind the story of the sequester. That and the fact that the government knows best gang, led by President Obama, thinks and acts as if We the People are stupid. And that raising spending levels by increasing taxes on the "rich" will "save" the middle class.

The arrogance of unions and their government allies in the Democratic Party is on full display in connection with the air traffic controllers and the sequester.

President Obama wants to make it as painful as possible for the flying public in hopes that enough pressure will be brought to bear on our elected officials to stop the sequester. His plan isn't working, if only because it's ridiculous. And here's why.

Government wastes billions of dollars. If a family or a company had a spending problem, it would curtail its wasteful spending and prioritize. But President Obama refuses to do that or at least has until now.

But his plan to stick it to We the People and resume government spending at unsustainable and unaffordable levels now appears to be backfiring, and that's a good sign. If so, score one for We the People and less waste in government.  For that reason alone, maybe having the sequester in effect isn't so bad after all.

Senators Seek Way to Ease FAA Cuts says this in part:

"Complaints about air-travel delays in recent days have prompted Democrats in Congress to reconsider their strategy for dealing with across-the-board spending cuts.

This week, the Federal Aviation Administration began furloughing air-traffic controllers to comply with the required cuts, known as the sequester. Airlines and some lawmakers have said the FAA is taking a rigid approach to the cutbacks, applying them in a way that has led to flight delays across the country, especially at airports in the Northeast.
The FAA and the controllers' union agreed to distribute furloughs evenly among all controllers, whether they were at busy or quiet airports.

Now some Democrats are gathering behind bills aimed at easing the air-travel problems, putting them at odds with party leaders, who say any response should blunt the overall impact of the sequester, rather than target individual problems such as the flight delays. . . .
Passengers at Los Angeles International Airport on April 24.

Any new bill aimed at the air-travel woes would likely come to the Senate floor shortly after lawmakers return from next week's recess, a Senate Democratic aide said.

Some Democrats think the Senate should act sooner.

"It is better to do a big deal. But as we work toward it, we have to admit that some things are very problematic," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), who on Wednesday introduced a bipartisan bill with Sen. John Hoeven (R., N.D.) designed to give the Department of Transportation more flexibility to manage the cuts with the goal of reducing furloughs at the FAA.

The bill would give the FAA the flexibility to transfer funds between accounts to reduce furloughs and give the Department of Transportation the authority to move funds from other areas of its budget to the FAA. The Department of Transportation administers the FAA. . . .

"The public's going to be furious when they find out that this could have been prevented," said Sen. Dan Coats (R., Ind.), who supports the bipartisan proposal to give the Department of Transportation more flexibility in dealing with the FAA cuts. . . .

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which represents the 15,000 civilian controllers, says it asked the FAA to implement furloughs evenly. "The National Airspace System is integrated," a union spokesman said in an email."


But even air traffic controllers are now speaking out about the politics of the situation. Let's listen to what they have to say in The FAA Strikes Again, the FAA Brags:

"The Federal Aviation Administration claims the sequester spending cuts are forcing it to delay some 6,700 flights a day, but rarely has a bureaucracy taken such joy in inconveniencing the public.

Though the FAA says it is strapped for cash, the air traffic control agency managed to find the dollars to update its interactive "command center" tool on its website so passengers can check if their airports are behind schedule due to what it calls sequester-related "staffing" problems. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn noticed this rare case of FAA technological entrepreneurship and fired off a letter Wednesday protesting what he called the agency's "full blown media rollout" to hype the flight delays.

That had zero impact on FAA bosses, who were on Capitol Hill rationalizing their dereliction. But after Mr. Coburn published his letter on his website, FAA regional employees wrote to blow the whistle on their bosses. As one email put it, "the FAA management has stated in meetings that they need to make the furloughs as hard as possible for the public so that they understand how serious it is."

Strategies include encouraging union workers to take the same furlough day to increase congestion. "I am disgusted with everything that I see since the sequester took place," another FAA employee wrote. "Whether in HQ or at the field level it is clear that our management has no intention of managing anything. The only effort that I see is geared towards generating fear and demonstrating failure.""

Summing Up

And so it goes in the hallowed halls of U.S. government as We the People are viewed as pawns whose comforts and votes are to be managed and manipulated for political gain rather than served by our elected "public servants."

Someday, and I hope someday soon, We the People will stop taking this crap from these unworthy clowns.

We're not only not stupid; we're in charge around here. Let's act like it.

That's the real American way.

Politics sucks.

Thanks. Bob.

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