Skip to main content

Drawing of a somewhat beefy child-man having a temper tantrum.
House Republicans (artist's conception)
Republicans in the House transportation subcommittee called Federal Aviation Administration administrator Michael Huerta before them on Wednesday to whine that the Obama administration hadn't warned them that sequestration would cause flight delays, which it definitely had, and to insist that Huerta could do something to avert delays despite the sequester if he really wanted to.

Huerta laid out the math: Operations is 61 percent of the FAA's budget; the airport improvement program, which makes up a significant chunk of the other 39 percent, is exempt from sequestration, a decision Congress made. Payroll is 70 percent of the operations budget. Safety-related workers are 84 percent of the operations payroll budget. How do you avert cuts to air traffic controllers given this reality? Well, Republicans believe strongly that the FAA should cut consultants and contractors rather than furloughing air traffic controllers. Small problem:

Mr. Huerta said that the largest single contract was to run the communications system that connects radios, radar and voice lines within the F.A.A.’s national system, and the second-largest was for flight service stations, which provide weather data and other information to pilots.

The third-largest contract is for running control towers at small airports; when the F.A.A. said it wanted to shut 149 of those, it faced a torrent of criticism and lawsuits.

Republicans have no right to be surprised by the cuts they were warned about. They have no right to be outraged by the cuts they made happen. But surprise and outrage are the order of the day, so they can pretend to voters that this isn't really all their fault. The next move, of course, will be to pass legislation shifting money around so that furloughs of air traffic controllers are lifted or reduced—good news for air traffic controllers and travelers, but, as White House press secretary Jay Carney said, "a Band-Aid measure." It would be one more patchwork step to make the harm of the sequester invisible to middle-class people even as kids continue to be kicked out of Head Start, seniors continue to miss out on Meals on Wheels, families continue to risk homelessness as housing assistance is slashed, and low-income women and their children continue to be denied nutrition assistance.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 07:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Kossack Air Force, and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Oh, the horror! (23+ / 0-)

    But cutting food to children elicits only a yawn by Republicans.

    This effects R congressfolks.  They fly home to campaign.  And WH tours are a goodie they give out.

    I think the sequester should impact the food in the congressional dining room, but they's only eat out more with lobbyists.  

    The only good that will come out of the sequester over time is that some people will finally see that government cuts affect their lives.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:18:31 AM PDT

  •  If 70% of operations is the payroll (5+ / 0-)

    then what is the other 30%? If 84% of the payroll is for safety then what is the other 16%?  I think that the easy way is to always cut the most visible and most important part of the operations while human resources, communications, public relations, legal and the big salaries stay safe.  I cannot understand how a 3% to 5% cut is such a hugh chunk of the programs that all of us use like parks, libraries, and highways and headstart, vet benefits etc. I realize that we pay way too much on debt service but 3 to 5% should not have that much influence.  I think our budget is so out of balance that we slash the programs that hurt us the most and leave the high salaries untouched.

    •  Too logical! (0+ / 0-)

      The Republicans would have insiste ahead of time on this, but they are a little deficient in long-term thinking.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:07:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A lot of the other 30% isn't terribly flexible. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, Deadicated Marxist, Val, wa ma

      It's stuff like keeping the lights on. Renting office space. Paying for telecommunications services. Buying gasoline for fleet trucks. And so on. If they're really running operations at 70% payroll, then I think they're probably already running a reasonably tight ship.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:33:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The other 30% or 16% (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deadicated Marxist, craiger, Val, wa ma

      Are costs that CANNOT be cut, because the agency in question doesn't set them or may not by law be able to negotiate over them. You know, things like utilities, rent, essential supplies, equipment maintenance...

      Have you taken into account the fact that agency budgets have been flat (little to no increase, many reduced) for the last 3 years?

      We have been cutting every year since Obama was first elected. We've been getting by because many of our employees are retiring -- and we haven't hired anyone to replace them.

      Why can't you understand that ANY Federal agencies budget is going to be anywhere from 60 to 80 percent employees? It's called "public service" for a reason, and if you're taking care of a need it takes physical bodies in physical seats to do so.


    •  Since you state you already don't know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Then you should not assume you know how it should, or could be, done better.

      The symbol for the Republican party shouldn't be an elephant -- it should be a unicorn.

      by Deadicated Marxist on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 12:47:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Overhead walks on two feet" (21+ / 0-)

    My whole career has been spent on planning and controlling departmental budgets in a large corporation.  I understand cost control.

    A favorite topic every time we talk about cost is getting control of "overhead" - supposed waste and inefficiency in our operations.  One of the first things I learned is that "Overhead walks on two feet".  

    Every cost control action ends up addressing people - we have to hire less, allow attrition without backfills, or eventually lay people off.  (As a last resort, and no, it isn't any fun.)  Staffing reductions always result in things not getting done the way they used to.  Sure, we look for "productivity" but if enough positions go unfilled things dfon't get done.

    How can the GOP pretend to not know his?  Aren't they the party of "running the government like a business"?  To anyone with any experience or even any common sense, the formula is simple:

    Less spening -> less people -> less services.

    It's not rocket science.


  •  Reality! You asshole! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David M Landreth, JeffW

    "The opposite of faith is not doubt. It's certainty."

    by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:54:27 AM PDT

  •  Is it any wonder that the GOP is bellyaching (11+ / 0-)

    suddenly?  Seriously, to quote cry boy - "... got 98% of everything I wanted".  The reality is that the GOP is getting what they want - a significant % of the GOP actually does want to starve government operations and prevent them from working so that mega-corps aren't interfered with; another chunk really does believe that the government doesn't really do anything but give money away to deadbeats and bureaucrats; and another chunk simply has no clue that this whole thing IS more than just a zero sum power struggle.  They've been lied to and lied to for decades now and have been fighting to reverse things since FDR. Given how civics and fundamental economics have been removed from the schools and replaced in many cases with dominionist fantasies, is it any wonder that they are incapable of successfully doing their job of running the country?

    Good Sense is Seldom Common

  •  On Chris Jansing's MSNBC Show (11+ / 0-)

    This morning she spoke about a friend who was flying from LA to NYC and her flight was delayed 3 hours.  When they finally took off the pilot apologized to the passengers and told them to blame Obama for the delay.  Luckily I wasn't on that flight because I would have had to answer that remark.

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

    by Rosalie907 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 10:01:36 AM PDT

    •  And this what is being run up the flag pole (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catullus, dewtx

      Ahhh does the Administration plan on doing any pushback, before "It's Obama's fault" meme grows into a Frankenstein Monster?

      One does not simply walk into Mordor! One invites a gas driller in, and one’s land becomes Mordor. Chris From Balloon Juice

      by Mr Stagger Lee on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:35:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They're acting like Cowards (0+ / 0-)

        As usual and not doing what I would do, in your face calling the Republicons liars.

        Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

        by Rosalie907 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:10:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I would depend... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe, Rosalie907

      If I had a couple of cocktails prior to departure, I might ring the attendant call button and ask the flight attendant to tell the pilot that the passenger in 19C says, "Fuck off, Asshole."

      That is not "interfering with the flight crew", rather providing customer feedback.

      "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

      by craiger on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 03:40:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When the poor are hurt, no biggie (10+ / 0-)

    When the business class is delayed, there is a problem.

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:04:32 AM PDT

  •  High laurels to Huerta and others who stand ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skod, tb mare, Debby, dewtx

    ... up to these blundering, blustering, vacuous Congress-fools with straightforward facts and logic.

    May there be many more who are willing to calmly set forth the facts and sense of the matter before this sequester business ends!

    And at some point, some one in the White House with a one-word title needs to deride Congress privately - and then publicly if necessary - about veering from one stop gap after another, for that is surely what that ship of fools will try to do ... probably on both sides of the aisle.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:11:22 AM PDT

  •  It seems to me ... (0+ / 0-)

    That airport omprovement could be put on hold.

    Operations is 61 percent of the FAA's budget; the airport improvement program, which makes up a significant chunk of the other 39 percent, is exempt from sequestration, a decision Congress made.
    Now I know that airport imrpovement is an important long term consideration, and that cutting it would also entail cutting construction jobs. But, it seems that cutting air traffic controllers, the very people who perform the sevice the FAA is there to provide, is a bit more improvement. I'm not advocating austerity -- think both are critical, and believe in Keynesian stimulus that would advocate both being fully funded. But if the FAA were forced to cut funding, I think air traffic controllers would be the last on the list. It's not surprising that Congress micromanaged and blocked cutting Airport Improvement. If it involves construction, there are probably government contractors getting a slice of the pie, and we all know that Congressmen consider government contracts -- those that don't involve puplic employeees -- to be sacrosanct.

    Registered Buddhacrat

    by clear SKies on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:13:18 AM PDT

    •  If contracts are signed and projects under way, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, Val

      cutting back on a program like that could be short-term savings but longer-term very costly.

      Apart from that, depending on the improvements in question, putting them off may cause worse delays than reducing ATC staffing.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:37:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you read what you quoted? (0+ / 0-)

      The FAA can't cut airport improvement.  Stop drinking Republican kool-aid.

      "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

      by libdevil on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 01:01:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a pilot... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe, Val

      AIP funds are critical to do things like repair of busted airport beacons, so pilots can find airports at night. To fix VASIs so pilots know they are or the correct descent slope. To fix potholes in runways and taxiways that can do $100,000s of dollars of damage in an instant.

      Airport Improvement is safety.

      And 70%-ish of the FAA funding derives from "dedicated" ticket taxes, fuel excise taxes, and other dedicated sources of funding directly from users of the system. So to those who say the users should pay their way, they mostly do.

      "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

      by craiger on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 03:57:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The slowdowns should have been selective (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rabel, Mr Stagger Lee

    Since the sequester is the baby of the red states, it would be fitting to let airports serving sequester supporters take the brunt.  So Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston should have taken it on the chin, while New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and other blue-state airports would be mostly spared.

    Of course Democrats never do things like that.  It would be acting too much like a Republican.  We fight Marquess of Queensbury rules, not their Lucha Libre.  'Tis better to lose a fight and maintain one's dignity, after all.  Right, Harry?

    It's not clear that the Republican base is inconvenienced vary much, though their Congressional delegation is.  Most of their voters, the southern fundies, never fly. And most of their money comes from the class that flies private, so they can avoid waiting by using  the smaller airports that specialize in general aviation.  It's middle-class families on vacation and, even more time-critically, middle-class business travelers (this is not fun, kids, if you haven't done it) who are inconvenienced.

    •  The flight system is intertwined. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe

      I'm sympathetic to your argument but if you consider how a weather event in one part of the country snarls everything else up, you know that doesn't work. Besides, cities with airports are probably blue as well.

      Get old and do lots of stuff in the process. Half of the fun is trying everything out. --Noddy

      by Debby on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:50:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That would only hit part of the ATC (2+ / 0-)

      ...employees -- which would be considered discrimination. Furloughs have to be nationwide, and everyone has to suffer. To only pick certain airports would be bad for morale, not to mention illegal.

      The laws and regulations on furloughs are available for review on's website.

  •  Good Politics Is Pushing For End To Sequester (5+ / 0-)

    It was a bad move to tie it in to the quest for the mythical grand bargain.

  •  They are playing the poll game (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    Cutting federal spending polls well. Cutting particular federal programs doesn't.

    So they impose the sequester and take credit for lower federal spending. Then they blamd Obama for cutting a particular program.

  •  So...Which Fox News (it's a brand name) anchor (0+ / 0-)

    will step up and donate personal funds to keep the FAA functioning??

    Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:16:21 AM PDT

  •  Hard to believe... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that Republicans can't figure this out.

    They think that the government is too big and that most of it's functions (except for defense!) should be done by the private sector.

    So, they use the debt ceiling as leverage to get budget cuts.  Maybe they weren't exactly the ones that they wanted, but they still considered it a victory at the time.  And as I recall, they were much more concerned about the cuts to defense than anything else.

    Now, that they're seeing the consequences of cutting spending, they're complaining and blaming Obama for it?  Or worse, blaming the FAA for cutting their budget in ways that they were more of less forced to by congress?

    It boggles the mind.

    If they really believed that the cuts were a good thing, then shouldn't they be arguing for some way to privatize the functions of the FAA?  And if they really believed that the cuts were doing harm, shouldn't they end their quest to reduce government spending, at least in general.  Seriously, pick one.

    It's hard enough to argue against someone with terrible ideas that aren't based in reality, but arguing against someone with terrible ideas that won't even stick to them is maddening.

    •  I don't think it's an issue that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David M Landreth, ET3117

      Republican leaders can't figure out, it's the GOP base that's so bone stupid it just cannot be believed. I know that some GOP congresspersons believe it as well but, it's the entirely of their base, that believes, WITH EVERY FIBER OF THEIR BEING, that there's a ton of waste to be cut from budgets.  The waste being in forms that don't affect them. Well, of course, it shouldn't affect them just - "those other people" who are getting a free ride.

      •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Of course some do understand this are are just cynically playing the rest, but there are a shockingly high number who believed all the budget cutting stuff completely AND NOW believe that these particular problems are Obama's fault.

        It's some kind of budget magic.  You can cut and cut and things will be great, but don't cut that and oh that looks like it's not a big deal (then we find out it has some bad effects, which were predicted beforehand) so suddenly it's a big deal and it's totally not our fault for cutting the budget!

        Republicans haven't been very good at understanding reality.  They'll deny science (global warming, evolution, etc.), but they're coming very close here to denying basic math.  :(

    •  Some of FAA's functions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe

      are already done by contractors. Remember those 149 small airports FAA wanted to close? The employees at those towers are contractors -- they're already privatized.

      Do you REALLY think that the government is going to give up control of the airspace over our country? Do you think that from a security standpoint, that's a good idea? If so, let's privatize the Border Patrol and Customs too...

  •  bottom line: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, tb mare, Bisbonian, Debby, Val

    government provides useful services to the citizenry.

    no, duh.

    this is why the fantasy-based community has never been able to propose a budget with significant cuts, despite being absolutely certain that the federal budget is full of wasteful boondoggle spending.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:28:29 AM PDT

  •  Where are the national DEM ads?? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We have a whole year before 2014 elections so why not run a few ads during American Idol, Voice and those types of shows explaining why/how Republicans hate YOU??    

    Faux is spending all week talking about how the Terrorist received Welfare or Food Stamps.  No talk about how Grandma isn't receiving these services and really needs them.

  •  I enjoy Repug-bashing as much as the next guy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But remind me whose bright idea this "sequestration" was, again . . . .?

  •  The sequester is brain dead They cut busy airports (0+ / 0-)

    traffic controlers the same as airports with very lite traffic. What don't they govern?

  •  If he's already done this, I apologize for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ET3117, wa ma

    for the error but what I REALLY believe Jay Carney should do at the next press conference when he gets all kinds of stupid ass questions from the Beltway press, is to just say that the GOP led House should vote repeal the sequester. The Republicans control the House and have the ability to repeal this thing so they should do it if they believe it's bad.

    PERIOD. No more words than that. If they still don't understand, repeat the same words until you could just put a tape recorder down and walk away from the podium.

    Considering how many times they tried to repeal the ACA, they understand how to repeal law very well.

  •  it looks like (0+ / 0-)

    pointing fingers just like guns is the conservative gop's position on most issues which is similar to their constituents, taking responsibility is reserved for the opposition not the wacko cons.

  •  Already lost 5 hours to the (0+ / 0-)

    sequester (over 2 short haul flights).  Could have driven faster.  PO'd at both parties and general lack of leadership.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:57:30 AM PDT

  •  Jacob Lew came up with this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Republicans and Democrats ultimately bought into it.   Looks like a classic bipartisan clusterfuck to me.

    We really are not well served by any of these idiots governing us.

  •  It's all those greedy air traffic controllers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wa ma

    If they'd just be willing to do their job for half the money, we could make sure no Republican lawmakers were inconvenienced.

    "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

    by libdevil on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 12:55:24 PM PDT

  •  Fee-based air traffic control (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If air traffic control was funded by fees levied on those who use the services (i.e., aircraft that take off and land) then (1) sequestration would not matter and (2) I wonder how much we would find who is subsidizing whom?  Do large airports subsidize small ones or small ones subsidize  large ones?  Does the rest of the economy subsidize air traffic control?  

    If there are hidden subsidies, I don't think it is a problem for Democratic ideologies, we accept paying something for the common good; but I wonder what it would expose about Republicans and especially the libertarian point of view.

    •  It's been tried... (0+ / 0-)

      In most countries that have implemented fee-for-service air traffic control, the result has been huge toll-collection bureaucracies and exorbitant fees that have priced out and destroyed general aviation by private parties and ceded over the airspace to the military and corporate airlines that can afford the fees or at least dictate the fee structure.

      Be careful what you wish for.

      As our system works now, majority funding is from aviation-related excise taxes, so the users are in fact paying for it, and the debate is really all about pennies per gallon and what percentage of the ticket price.

      "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

      by craiger on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:06:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Surprise - Employees are the Major Expense (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Val, wa ma

    When I was the managing partner at a law firm, some of the attorneys were constantly upset that they were not paid more and they wanted to "cut expenses."  I pulled out the expense hostory and said - expense #1, attorney salaries and benefits; expense #2, staff salaries and benefits; expense #3, rent; expense #4, malpractice insurance.

    This seemed to satisfy almost all of the attorneys, but one guy always wanted to cut out free coffee or free soft drinks or the once weekly staff bagel breakfast provided by the firm, stating he could make "a lot more money" if we just cut all of these ridiculously expensive perks.  These things taken together cost maybe $2,000 per year.  I think of this guy when I hear the complaints that the agencies should cut zero jobs and yet reduce expenses 10%.  People see "waste" and say "well just cut all that."  Cutting all of the piddly little stuff won't make a dent.

  •  Wasn't it just 3 or 4 weeks ago?..... (0+ / 0-)

    That speaker Bonehead announced "We forged this plan" And paraphrasing...We stand behind it and we're proud that we are finally doing what we need to do to get our financial house in order, blah blah blah.I guess they are still un-aware of these new fangled recording devices, as well as the media, who don't seem to remember either.

  •  "Why Is Obama Unnecessarily Delaying Your Flight?" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Otteray Scribe, Val

    That's what Eric Cantor is tweeting to his followers.  It's Obama's fault, even tho I & every single Republican in
    the House voted for the sequester.  Ditto for every single
    Republican Senator w/ very few exceptions.

    Now they whine because their shuttle was delayed.

    You broke it, so I guess it's up to you to fix it, Mr. Cantor.

  •  Only one side is allowed to take hostages (0+ / 0-)

    The real story here is that Dems in the Senate voted, unanimously, to rescind these restrictions in how the FAA spends within the sequester limitations, so that air traffic could continue unhindered by the sequester.  The jet set can once again set aside all worry that their utter freedom to jet off to wherever they want will in any way be hampered.  Hostage valued by their side successfully rescued on a bipartisan basis.

    You think Rs are going to vote unanimously to let any of the hostages our side values go free?  If that were the case, then the news today would not be that both sides acted to let air travelers off the sequester hook, it would be that both sides have acted to let all Amercians off the sequester hook by repealing the sequester.

    Take a step back.  We only have the sequester because the Rs demanded it as the formalized, institutionalized hostage-taking process they wanted as the price for not killing the hostage they had taken at that time, the debt ceiling.  The idea was that, in the sequester, both sides would give hostages, spending that they valued, that would be killed automatically unless both sides could agree to a deficit reduction deal.  No such deal, and both sides' hostages get bumped off.

    At the time this hare-brained deal was made, reasonable people said that, of course, no such deal would be reached (nor should be reached, but that's another post or twenty), so of course we would reach the point at which the sequester would take effect.  The only way to stop the purposefully disastrous cuts the sequester called for would be to have boths sides agree to repeal the thing, so that neither set of hostages, theirs nor ours, would be slaughtered.

    How, exactly, does our side get their side to let our hostages, the spending we value, live, if we're going to give them back any hostages they value without getting anything in return?  Of course they're not going to agree to repeal the sequester.  Why should they?   We're not even asking for little bits of spending we value in exchange for letting this particular hostage they value more than we do go free.

    What's going to happen next is the gradual release of all their hostages, everything the govt does that they value.  Our side will go along with releasing these hostages because we don't want to see anyone hurt.  Every penny of spending threatened by the sequester is spendng that mustered bipartisan support.  That's how and why it became authorized spending, by passing muster with a majority as something the majority thinks the government should be doing.  There's nothing the govt dpoes that fails to command majority support in our party, so if we allow individual spending items to be delinked from the whole sequester trainwreck, the utterly predictable result will be that the only things not restored will be govt programs that only our side likes.

    Government by hostage taking is no doubt a horrible idea.  I've never been for it.  But our side agreed to have the govt do its business that way when our side agreed to the sequester.  Having agreed to hostage taking as the way our side would relate to the other side, we now have no choice -- until and unless we muster the bipartisan majority needed to repeal the sequester in toto -- but to do business exactly that way, by taking hostages and being willing to bump them off every bit as ruthlessly as the other side.  

    Our side should be tailoring cuts to the FAA to be even more targeted against people who don't vote our way, and we need to do that everywhere along the whole spectrum of sequester cuts.  Wherever possible, red states and red districts get hammered.  As an even higher priority, where possible, 1%ers get targeted even more ruthlessly and above all, as egregiously unfairly as the administration can arrange and stay within this sequester law.  We didn't make these new rules of the game, but we acquiesced to them, and now we have no choice but play as foul as the rules allow.

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 10:05:12 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site