CONGRESS HALTS FAA'S FURLOUGH ABUSE

by | May 29, 2013

CONGRESS HALTS FAA'S FURLOUGH ABUSE

Congress overwhelming decided to reverse the Federal Aviation Administration’s sequester furloughs with a veto proof majority in response to the FAA’s furlough of all employees as the result of the Federal sequesters spending cuts.  The automatic spending sequester cuts resulted in a 4% reduction in the FAA’s budget.  In response, the FAA implemented an all-employee furlough program that caused a 10% air traffic control cut that delayed 40% of all flights nationwide.  The FAA furlough program delayed or eliminated 6,700 flights per day, which is over twice as bad as a single worst travel day in 2012.  The FAA’s ill-conceived tactic was to make the travel lives so difficult for so many people that Congress would have no alternative but to restore their funding and possible even increase it.  Bad decision!  Not only did Congress overwhelmingly reverse the FAA’s furlough decision but now there are talks about privatizing the FAA entirely.  It’s interesting to note that most democratic countries, including, Canada, Germany, France and Australia, as well as 50 other countries have privatized their air navigation systems.  Time will tell whether Congress and the White House will abolish the FAA.  But there are important lessons to be learned by the FAA’s gross miscalculations of the public’s reactions to the FAA’s manufactured inconvenience.  In California, furloughs have been a common tool for state government, and many local governments to temporarily save money to get thru budget short falls.  The State has been accused of the very tactic employed by the FAA.  To wit, inconveniencing and angering consumers to the point that they will demand higher taxes and more money thrown at their bureaucracy.  Currently, the California Secretary of State takes a ridiculous amount of time to process even the simplest documents.  The “inconvenience gun to the consumer’s head” strategy is often promoted by the large international unions.  If there is anything to be learned by the experience of the FAA, it is that the public’s tolerance and patience for government agency created gridlock has run very short.  Government entities and the large unions that work closely with them, should carefully evaluate the long term consequences of their cost saving strategies.  Voters expect basic fundamental services from their government.  And if they don’t get them they will demand that changes be made so they do. 

 

 

 

 

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