|Air Traffic Control Tower|
Waukesha County Airport (Wisconsin)
Consider last week's fiasco involving the air-traffic control system. As part of the White House's Operation Wreak Havoc response to the sequester spending cuts, the Department of Transportation warned last week that 149 control towers at small, regional airports will close down. Local newspapers are running headlines about the imminent loss of flight service.For National Parks, same result (at the federal level, not state and local) but different process.
Next on the list could be furloughs at major airports that would mean flight delays for millions of travelers. The DOT helpfully warns that these delays could be "very painful for the flying public." The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accounts for only 20% of the Transportation budget but under White House and Congressional sequester math somehow absorbs 60% of the cuts.
Many of the service cutbacks could have been easily avoided by a budget amendment last week sponsored by Republican Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas. He proposed replacing $50 million of FAA sequester cuts with savings from unspent balances, which are a kind of agency slush fund, and by reducing other low-priority spending. Great idea.
How did the vote turn out? There wasn't one. Majority Leader Reid blocked the amendment from ever getting to the Senate floor. Mr. Moran believes that public safety is compromised by these control-tower cuts, and he calls the Reid gambit "a very dangerous way to try to score political points."
Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma sponsored seven amendments to save money—including one to provide funding to the National Park Service to keep open the likes of Yosemite and Yellowstone—by cutting programs that even Mr. Obama's budget calls low priorities. He also proposed freezing new hiring of "nonessential personnel" and to end conferences by the Department of Homeland Security. At least he got roll-call votes, but nearly every one was defeated by Democrats when Mr. Reid gave the order to his caucus.Meanwhile in real America, beyond the comfort of Barack Obama's, Harry Reid's and Nancy Pelosi's inside the Beltway partisan political bubble, with the assistance of state governments who have pledged their otherwise idle equipment, locals are rolling up their sleeves to solve problems and to do the right thing regardless of the Democrat's despicable games.
Yellowstone National Park
CODY, WYO. — Two small Wyoming tourist towns at the edge of Yellowstone National Park are celebrating successful fundraising efforts to cover the cost of plowing part of the roads leading into the park, assuring an on-time opening for their gates this spring.
The chambers of commerce in Cody and Jackson have confirmed that they have raised enough money to move forward with a plan to pay for Wyoming Department of Transportation personnel and equipment to assist in snow removal inside Yellowstone’s east and south gates.
Calling Cody “the little town that could—and did,” Chamber of Commerce executive director Scott Balyo said he was pleased that the campaign would ensure that Yellowstone’s East Gate would open May 3 as originally scheduled. Without private funding, the gate had faced a delayed opening of May 17.
Let's hear it for the locals! And a pox on the house of the Democratic regime in Washington DC and everyone who put them in power.