While your planes are late because of the sequester, remember how Obama is selectively cutting spending
The office implementing most of President Obama's healthcare law is not furloughing its workers as a result of sequestration, its director said Wednesday.First note that during the air traffic controller striking during the Reagan administration, administrators were able to step in and they kept the planes flying. Yet, today with a much smaller reduction in number of workers, we have hours of delays. In addition, note that all airports are not facing the same impact from air traffic control cuts. If you are going to make the cuts in air traffic control, it seems to me that the efficient thing to do would be to cut so that each place faces the same delays. That way you could actually reduce total delays.
Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said Wednesday that his office has not cut its workers' hours and pay as a result of the automatic budget cuts that went into effect in March.
Republicans have accused the Obama administration of politicizing the sequester by targeting highly visible programs like airport security and White House tours.
The fact that ObamaCare officials haven't been furloughed shows that the cuts are political, Rep. Greg Harper (R-Miss.) said Wednesday.
"We're talking about at least a 15 percent furlough of current air-traffic controllers, resulting in delays and perhaps safety concerns, but yet this has been a selective political item by the administration," Harper said. . . .
The chief of the FAA told Congress today that Washington-area airports will largely escape the effects of the air traffic controller furloughs — a blessing for lawmakers who fly out of the nation’s capitol.
Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, told a congressional panel that the Washington region’s airports are spaced out enough and have enough spare capacity that furloughs to air traffic controllers won’t hurt as much here. . . .UPDATE: Even the Chicago Tribune finds that Obama wants to make the sequester cuts as painful as possible.
. . . So, what could the administration do to make a reduction of barely 1 percent of actual federal outlays — less than $45 billion of this year's roughly $3.8 trillion — turn citizens against Republicans who oppose more tax increases? Easy, or so the president's men and women figured: Cue the air controller furloughs! Let's stall some flights on the tarmac!
Sure enough, travel delays have followed. We're less certain, though, that this hostage-taking will cut the way the White House expects: The scheme relies on citizens being — how to put this delicately? — stupid enough to think that the Federal Aviation Administration can't find a more flier-friendly way to save $600 million.
To believe that, though:
• Americans would have to ignore the plan that U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., delivered in early March to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, detailing how LaHood's FAA could save twice that amount — $1.2 billion.
• Americans would have to ignore House Republicans who note that LaHood's supposedly destitute FAA is spending some $500 million on consultants — and $300 million on travel and supplies.
• And Americans would have to ignore Democrats' refusal to accept congressional Republicans' offer to give the administration more flexibility in sequester cuts — an offer House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., reiterated during a meeting Monday with the Tribune editorial board. No, the White House doesn't want flexibility. The White House wants what the president predicted March 1. . . . .