Too bad the media won’t tell the sheeple this

Sequester doesn’t have to amount to even a minor inconvenience unless, duh, the administration makes sure it does.

If you want to know how misleading the Obama administration is being about the effects of the sequester, look no further than Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s dark warnings about flight delays.

LaHood showed up at the daily White House press briefing Friday to claim the sequester — automatic spending cuts President Obama insisted on that are now scheduled to take effect in March — will “be very painful for the flying public.”

Because of those cuts, he said, the department will have to furlough flight controllers, leading to “delays of up to 90 minutes during peak hours” at major airports.

It will also have to close more than 100 air traffic control towers, and preventive maintenance and runway repairs “might not be possible.”

The horror!

But LaHood, taking his cues from Obama, is needlessly trying to panic the public.

Take the claim that cutting back on flight controllers will lead to massive delays.

Back in 2000, the FAA handled 23% more air traffic with fewer flight controllers than it employs today, according to the Department of Transportation’s own inspector general, who added this raises “questions about the efficiency of FAA’s current controller workforce.”

Either air traffic controllers have gotten far less efficient over the past 13 years, or the FAA could get by with about 3,400 fewer of them — without affecting the quality of air travel one bit. Cutting out those excess controllers would get LaHood more than halfway to the $600 million he has to cut from the FAA’s budget.

And while LaHood ominously talks about closing 100 control towers, what he doesn’t say is that these towers should have been closed long ago.

In fact, Bloomberg News reports the FAA itself identified more than 100 “zombie towers” that handle so few flights they should be cut back or closed.

Then there’s the fact the administration has more flexibility in dealing with the sequester cuts than LaHood, or anyone else working for Obama, is willing to admit.

As the fact-checking site PolitiFact.com points out, “within the specific programs targeted for cuts, federal managers have a fair amount of discretion about what to reduce.”

And finally, instead of all the wailing and gnashing of teeth, LaHood could use the current budget cuts as an opportunity to do what Canada did 17 years ago when it also faced a severe budget crunch: fundamentally reform the air traffic control system.

Instead of a government-run agency, a private nonprofit called Nav Canada now runs Canada’s air traffic control, with user fees rather than federal funds covering the costs. Today, Nav Canada operates with 25% fewer workers than under the old government system, despite a 50% increase in traffic.

And, unlike the FAA, which has been struggling for years to upgrade its woefully outdated equipment, Nav Canada has deployed state-of-the-art technology that it’s now selling to other countries.

 

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Too bad the media won’t tell the sheeple this

  1. Cos Cobber

    Monied conservatives have really dropped the ball in two areas over the past 50 years. They dont make/produce entertainment (movies, music, etc) and beyond rupert murdock, they dont have tv news/print media clout.
    Someday I’d like to help change the latter. And CF, you and Walt would no doubt be in the editorial room….many others here as well.

    • Walt

      CC –
      What? WHAT!! You don’t think we are good enough to make movies?

      What are we, your peons doomed to sit around a smoky news room, drinking day old coffee, eating cold pizza and telling dirty jokes all day? Which actually sounds like fun!!

      Is it because Hollywood is controlled by liberal Jews, of which we are not one? Of which we are both neither? Is it because we ain’t Jews?

      Well let me tell you something, buster. I may not be a Jew, but I can hang with the best of them. I like bagels, Katz’s is my favorite deli, and I can be cheap with a buck. I do have a weakness for bacon though.

      Plus I have multiple treatments already underway. “Dirt Boy” being at the front and center. I just can’t decide if it is a comedy or a tragedy.
      So Hollywood it is!!
      Your Pal,
      Walt

  2. anon

    I had the money photo of the decade that would have gone viral had I had the courage to click snap. At JFK last week, three TSA agents, standing around doing nothing, each on their cell phone, texting. Now, I ask you, they couldn’t lose their jobs??? I debated about taking the photo but worried that I’d be perceived as doing something wrong and hauled off, or arrested. But I’m kicking myself I didn’t take the photo. It was Priceless.

  3. Fred2

    Here’s a “no brainer”, I’ll bet there are 1/2 dozen major federal departments (anda veritable horde of smaller ones) that could go away to no one except the people working at them’s dismay. BATF, Dept of Ed…. betcha removing those ( or at the very least scaling them WAAAY back) would save a lot of money one one side, and as a bonus would then result in far more people not being pestered by bureaucrats. The IRS/ tax code could be simplified and you’d need maybe 1/10 of the people who work there now.

    Chances of such intelligent low-drag reform = 0%

  4. FLY on wall

    the only government agency (FAA, TSA, etc.) they have not formed yet is LOL

  5. Al Dente

    Airlines are now employing baboons as jet mechanics, but the FAA says don’t worry: http://www.spnheadlines.com/2010/02/faa-launches-formal-investigation-into_13.html

  6. Riverside Chick

    Chris Christiie’s budget address today was fantastic! Take note DC ,this is how a leader leads!

  7. just_looking

    No one makes the right decision any more especially if it is a difficult decision or the decision maker is a government employee. No one.