4/25/2013

While your planes are late because of the sequester, remember how Obama is selectively cutting spending

Those working on Obamacare are apparently being exempt from the budget cuts.  From The Hill newspaper:
The office implementing most of President Obama's healthcare law is not furloughing its workers as a result of sequestration, its director said Wednesday.
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. . . .
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.
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. . . . . 

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Blogger Mark said...

The whole commercial-flight-delays-are-inevitable-results-of-the-sequester meme is utter nonsense and demonstrates the utter contempt that TeamObama has for the citizenry - my guess is that anyone who is a pilot understands this. The ATC system is very structured, with controllers working towers at airports as well as transitional zones which tend to be appoach/departure areas around large commercial airports (i.e., Norcal Approach) as well larger zones further (or above) big airports (i.e., Oakland Center). There are only a certain number of frequencies in this whole system, that a pilot uses depending on where he or she is (assuming he or she is using the ATC system at all; smaller airplanes may not be). This means that there are only so many controllers who can talk to airplanes at the same time in a certain area, because only one controller can talk on frequency at the same time. The reality of the system is that some zones and some airports at some times are WAY busier than others. If one charted these differences one would need to use a log scale as they are orders of magnitude different. As a result, it is utter madness to think that if faced with staff cutbacks, one should impose such across all towers, all zones in some kind of equal fashion. The reality is, some zones and some towers are incredibly busy at some times - cutting resources in these situations so that a controller can't work just one super-busy frequency but instead must work multiple frequencies, will completely slow down and screw up the whole system. On the other hand, making cuts at the in the far higher number of far lower capacity areas would have minimal detectable impact for the broad commercial flying public. I just can't believe these guys imposing such stupidity on us are getting away with it. Maddening.

4/25/2013 10:45 AM  

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