Shea-Porter Promotes Air Traffic Controller Sequester Scare But Ignores FAA Waste on One-Percenters - Granite Grok

Shea-Porter Promotes Air Traffic Controller Sequester Scare But Ignores FAA Waste on One-Percenters

Shea-Porter on potential FAA cuts at Manchester airport

Democrat Carol Shea-Porter, the Democrat parties “narrative mule” for congressional district one in New Hampshire, has a link on her official “I’m Your Congresswoman!”  Facebook page.   Shea-Porter’s status update simply says “Control towers at airports such as Manchester’s could be left unstaffed by budget cuts.”

Unstaffed!  Holy Air traffic controller-less tower Batman!

The link provided with this ‘news’ leads to a story at NECN about how the airport tower in Manchester, New Hampshire is on the list of candidates in New England that could lose it’s midnight shift as a result of some $600 million dollars in cuts to the FAA budget as a result of Barack Obama’s sequester.  That would be the sequester that the White house and Democrats arm-twisted the House into passing (with Democrat support), and has since decided to blame them for in its entirety.

Carol, the dutiful Democrat sheep that she is, has happily toed the assigned narrative without regard to the veracity of its claims, but someone might want to tell her a few things about how much DOT, and more specifically the FAA, requests annually in its budget, and how much of that massive sum gets wasted on what the FAA itself calls “low priority spending.”

First, so you are up to speed, the FAA needs to cut $600 million from its budget.  My congresswoman wants me to know that if I don’t do something (I didn’t by the way) that this could have consequences that reach right into my own back yard.  (Manchester is just up the road a piece.)

Really?  Consequences?

According to the FAA their spending requests grew from 15.9 billion in 2011 to 18.7 billion in 2012.    That’s an increase of 2.8 billion in one year and more than four and one-half times the amount the sequester would reclaim from the FAA 2012 budget.  (Did you know the planes flew just fine, even way back when Carol was in congress last time, on significantly less than 18.7 Billion minus 600 million?  It’s true.)

DOT has also received something called an “up-front boost,” authorized by President Barack ‘Sequester’ Obama, for an additional 50 billion dollars.  FAA and DOT are not hurting for cash.

And did you also know, Carol, that the FAA wastes hundred of millions, perhaps even billions of dollars, on low priority spending and perks for rarely used private airports.  Hangers, parking-lots, and  just plain old cash to keep scores of tine rarely-used airports, many with no FAA controllers at all, for people who have their own private jets?  Hundred of millions of taxpayer dollars spent by the FAA, for low-priority amenities for private-plane jet-setting, one-per-centers; while you were in congress, Carol, defending us from waste, fraud, and abuse.  Or not.

In the fiscal year ending Sept 2009, right under your cute little congressional nose…

•The amount of money spent on low-priority projects hit a record $507 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. That’s nearly five times the amount in 1998, when the FAA established a new ranking system for airport projects.

•More than $2 billion in low-priority funds has gone to airports used mostly by private jets and piston-engine planes, including $700 million for terminals. Pellston Regional Airport inMichiganused $7.5 million in federal funds to build a terminal with stone fireplaces and cathedral ceilings. The airport averages three departures a day.

•Congress helped increase low-priority spending by allowing 2,800 airports used by private planes to spend federal funds on parking lots and hangars, and by guaranteeing those airports money every year.

I’m just spit-balling now, but I bet that with almost 19 billion kicking around the FAA offices and a 50 billion dollar DOT backstop to boot that they could probably (easily) find over a billion in cuts without ever having to furlough one single air-traffic controller.  So here’ what I’m thinking.  If this is really important to you, congresswoman, instead of just repeating whatever scare-tactics that House minority leadership, the White House, or OFA sends your way, how about demonstrating a little leadership?  Why don’t you ask why the Federal Aviation Administration believes it has to cut even one air-traffic controller, when it is sitting on a mountain of cash, billions of which it has historically been willing to waste on things of little or no importance to the safe conduct or management of air traffic in America?

Are you capable of such a thing, or are we asking too much of our ‘Representative?’

Until you get that answer, and this is just a suggestion,  it might be more politically expedient for you to stop parroting unsubstantiated claims from your party leaderships about the severity or impact of the sequester.   You look like a fool, and you are embarrassing the state of New Hampshire.  And I, for one, am not about to stop pointing it out.

Sorry.  Forgot to mention this.  The final 2012 FAA budget ended up at around 16 billion–I just found it.  (for Reference, 2009’s budget was under 10 billion so it has grown 60% since then).  Oh, and President Obama’s FAA budget for FY2013 already cuts over 700 million from a grant program  called Grants in Aid for Airports (AIP).  AIP’s budget will be reduced to…ready?…. 2.4 billion.  It’s purpose…?

The budget proposes to focus Federal grants to support smaller commercial and general aviation airports that do not have
access to additional revenue or other outside sources of capital.

At the same time, the budget would allow larger airports to increase non-Federal passenger facility charges. The new program structure will give the larger airports greater flexibility to generate revenue. This proposal is consistent with the recommendation of the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to eliminate grants to large and medium hub airports.

Also known as a recurring bailout and or… “low priority spending.”   We can cut 700 million out of that without a whisper, then keep the other 2.4 billion,  but a 600 million dollar sequester cut will demand the layoff or furlough of air-traffic controllers?

Nice money management skills you Democrats have.  Very nice, indeed.


You are reading  “Shea-Porter Promotes Air Traffic Controller Sequester Scare But Ignores FAA Waste on One-Percenters”   by  Steve Mac Donald originally posted at (Home)


Steve has been recognized as the Americans For Prosperity Blogger of the month for December 2012

Steve Mac Donald has been recognized as the AFP December Blogger of the month