The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was recently forced to partially close and send employees home without pay because House Republicans, concerned about spending and the federal budget, didn’t want to extend $16.5 million in subsidies to the agency. The shutdown is costing government $30 million a day in much needed revenue from airline taxes; in other words, shutting down government costs significantly more than trying to make it work. It might be a preview of what will happen if the House GOP gets its way (underfunded, poorly functioning government) or if it doesn’t (government shutdown and chaos). As Congress fights over how to raise the debt ceiling, it might be worthwhile to wonder which programs will get cut and which will not.

The drastic steps — which affect 4,000 “non-essential” employees (basically, everyone except the air-traffic controllers) — came on Friday after House Republicans refused to extend the authority of the $16 billion agency unless House Democrats agreed to remove a small subsidy intended for rural aviation that helps hundreds of small towns, farms, and other rural areas.

This means that, while flights can get off the ground, billions of dollars in airport construction projects has come to a halt, also costing workers their jobs.

At first, some believed that the freeze on tax collections would translate into lower ticket prices. Instead, airlines — which have struggled recently — have kept prices steady , effectively collecting 7.5% more in profits for themselves.

Considering the impact of the closure of a single federal agency is so widespread, imagine what would happen in the event of a U.S. default. If multiple agencies partially shutdown, it could cut a giant hole in the national debt the size of a massive government program. The Republican recalcitrance over the debt ceiling threatens thousands of American jobs by jeopardizing government agencies and slowing projects throughout the country. The FAA’s current state is a dismal warning of what might come next.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

MAGA Children's Books

The GOP descent into full-blown conspiracy and fascist hell has not gone unnoticed as of late. With the right-wing dominated Supreme Court poised to finally overturn Roe V Wade and 2022 races focusing on backing Republicans who support Trump's 2020 election lies, democracy and decency are all but dead and Democrats are going to have to turn out big in the midterms to prevent a GOP takeover over the House or Senate.

But while the focus of progressive ire has been over the GOP's assault on reproductive rights, Republicans have also been waging a war on facts and education quite well. After all, they need their voters nice and ignorant to remain in power. Book banning and, sickeningly, book burning is a thing for the GOP in the year 2022. The state of Tennessee, for example, is banning books. In fact, a psychotic trump zealot pastor led an actual book-burning event.

Keep reading... Show less

Pat McCrory

Youtube Screenshot

If former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is any indication, the GOP primary wounds wrought in the last several months stand a good chance of bleeding into the general election this fall.

McCrory, who lost his bid Tuesday to become the Republican nominee for the Tar Heel State's open Senate seat, declined to endorse his GOP rival, Rep. Ted Budd, the Trump endorsee.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}