Sometimes I feel like I am living in an alternative world! I was watching Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speak at the White House briefing room today and could not believe what I heard. Secretary Lahood was asked a number of very interesting questions, most important of all was about aviation safety. Secretary LaHood reassured everyone that the layoff of 4,000 FAA
employees will not have any effect on the safety of aircraft operations in the skies above the United States, nor at any of our airports.
FAA Budget Cuts And The Airline Ticket Tax
Instead, the job cuts would happen to airport construction employees and the FAA employees who collect the 7.5% federal excise tax on airline tickets!
According to the FAA the lack of FAA funding will result in about 4,000 FAA workers in 35 states being told to stay home. Of course the airlines, ever starved for cash, will seize upon this opportunity to pocket the collected (but not due) federal excise tax amount to improve their bottom lines - and who could blame them?
But Put Aside The FAA Budget Cuts For A Moment
The argument arose between Republicans and Democrats over efforts to cut $ 16.6 million in taxpayer subsidies to 13 rural airports. Of course it turns out that these particular 13 rural airports are located in districts of powerful Senate Democrats - including Harry Reid and Jat Rockefller.
But back to Secretary LaHood and his briefing to journalists at the White House. When asked how much the loss of the airline ticket federal excise tax would cost the federal government LaHood answered "200 Billion per month" quickly followed by "no, $ 200 Million per day" and finally he admitted he didn't know exactly.
Does is surprise anyone that funding for the FAA is a problem? Why are we amazed the government can't control spending? I seriously doubt any of these leaders have any idea of what a budget is, nor do they have any idea of how much they really spend.
Aircraft Owners MUST Operate On A Budget
As aircraft owners we need to budget engine reserves, 100 inspections, annual inspections, maintenance costs, insurance costs and more. If we operated like the government and had no idea of our costs, and didn't bother to plan for them, we wouldn't own our airplanes for very long. So why is the Federal Government can't pass an FAA Budget, or for that matter why has the Federal Government not passed a budget for over 820 days? Do we live in an alternate universe? Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7
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