WSJ: Obama Uses Flight Delays as Political Scare Tactic

Tuesday, 23 Apr 2013 11:03 AM

By Dan Weil

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President Barack Obama is manipulating the flight delays created by budget cuts for the FAA as a political weapon, The Wall Street Journal claimed in an editorial Tuesday.

“President Obama's sequester scare strategy has been a political flop, but his government keeps trying,” the paper states. “The latest gambit is to force airline flight delays until enough travelers stuck on tarmacs browbeat enough Republicans to raise taxes again.”

Furloughs began this week for air-traffic controllers. The White House “dubiously” argues that the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester require the furloughs, according to the editorial. But Republicans in Congress say the White House could make other Federal Aviation Administration cuts instead.

“In case there's any doubt about the President's ability to prioritize, at least two GOP senators, Jerry Moran and Roy Blunt, have written bills to clarify Mr. Obama's authority to make sensible spending decisions,” Journal editors write.

“He's not interested, and Senate Democrats have blocked such reforms. Making smart choices about federal spending would spoil the fun of creating flight delays and then blaming Republicans.”

On Monday, the top story on the Department of Transportation's website announced a $474 million grant program that will "make communities more livable and sustainable."

Journal editors’ response: “How about awarding grants to the control towers at Hartsfield and O'Hare? The community of air travelers would likely agree that sitting in a departure lounge at Newark Airport may be livable, but it's not sustainable.”


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