The Spending Cuts that Never Were
So the sequester has threatened public safety? What about thosee cuts in air traffic control?
In truth, the Federal budget increased by 107% since 1996 for air traffic controllers within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) even though domestic passenger flights decreased by 27% since 2000. Even after the automatic budget "sequester," air traffic controllers are handling only 73% of the traffic while running on a budget more than twice as large. These shocking facts are being exposed by freshman Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA).
Do Washington politicians think we are stupid? There are no cuts in Federal spending. Yet big-government politicians and advocates continually beat the drum about (nonexistent) budget cuts. Are big-spenders playing a "long con?"
Everyone saw clothes that didn't exist in the fable "The Emperor's New Clothes" by Hans Christian Andersen. Everyone was afraid to admit they didn't see any clothes because they wanted to fit in with the crowd and not appear stupid. "But he hasn't got anything on," a little child finally said.
President Barack Obama tried to blackmail Americans into accepting tax increases by holding air travel hostage. Let's call Obama's tactic what it is: extortion. Obama tried to convince Americans and Congress that unless Congress surrendered to Obama's agenda for higher taxes and higher debt limits, businessmen and vacation travelers would face long delays at airports. Give me a tax increase... or else...
President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress are still pretending that the nation has had budget cuts. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congressman William Lacy Clay (D-MO) recently blamed the terror attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on the mythical budget cuts.
Overall, the U.S. Government spent a total of $1.78 trillion dollars in the year 2000. The Government is now spending $3.42 trillion in 2013 -- even after deducting the 10% sequester. So the government is spending now an extra $1.63 trillion more than in 2000 -- and that additional $1.63 trillion repeats each and every year. That's a 91% increase in spending every year.
Here is the reality about the air traffic controllers: Congressman Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania's Fourth Congressional District, created a powerful video exposing Obama's deception. I was able to interview Rep. Perry recently on the radio. Some important ammunition for activists and voters:
First, the budget in 2013 is $47 billion bigger every year for the Transportation Department (a 113% increase) -- even after the sequester -- than what the Department of Transportation spent in the year 2000. The planes were flying in 2000 on less than half the money the FAA is spending now.
Second, Congress acted to make clear that the FAA can transfer $253 million to air traffic controller salaries and expenses to avoid any impact on air travel. This was achieved within the limits of fiscal discipline of the sequester.
But Rep. Perry argues that there was always plenty of money to keep the planes flying. Scott Perry tells us that the FAA has $2.7 billion in nonpersonnel funds that the FAA could have used on its own to redirect to air traffic controllers. Remember only $253 million was needed to maintain aircraft service under the sequester.
This is not to mention that out of over 30 FAA modernization programs, at least 15 have experienced cost overruns, delays, or both due to FAA mismanagement. The FAA Inspector General reported that for just one contract alone in 2011, the FAA paid a contractor $150 million extra in cost incentives (i.e., bonuses) even though the project was at least $330 million over budget. In Fiscal Year 2010 the FAA spent over $8 million on conferences for its employees. A 2009 ABC News report said that FAA conferences were "party time for 3,600 FAA employees with heavy drinking and inappropriate behavior."
Third, the FAA is supposed to be implementing a revolutionary overhaul and modernization that will allow air traffic controllers to handle more air traffic at lower cost. Had the FAA implemented the "NextGen" project as it was supposed to, it should be managing the same air traffic volume with a significantly smaller budget. The air traffic controller budget should be even smaller than it is now.
Fourth, Congressman Scott Perry alleges that the furloughs scheduled by the Obama Administration were "unnecessary" and that the Obama Administration refused to use its existing authority to readjust FAA funds to meet priorities and keep the planes flying. Perry calls the Obama Administration's actions irresponsible.
Education spending soars year after year, yet people continually complain about the cuts that don't exist. The U.S. Department of Education will spend $31.2 billion more in 2013 than it spent in 2000, and that is an extra $31.2 billion repeating each and every year. That's after the sequester. Like the Emperor's lackeys who praised the nonexistent clothes in glowing detail, Americans lament education spending cuts that never happened.
Throughout the U.S. Government, spending in FY 2013 will be larger than in FY 2000 as follows. Remember: these increases are repeating each and every year.
• $1.5 billion every year (53% increase) for Congress
• $12.6 billion every year (105% increase) for international assistance programs
• $34.5 billion every year (71% increase) at the Office of Personnel Management
• $2.8 billion every year (71% increase) for the Judicial Branch
• $139 billion every year (85% increase) for the Dept. of Agriculture
• $59.6 billion every year (187% increase) for the U.S Department of Labor
• $464 billion every year (121% increase) for the Dept. of Energy
• $16 billion every year (95% increase) for the U.S Department of Justice
• $10.8 billion every year (35% increase) for the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
• $22 billion every year (329% increase) for the Dept. of State
• $4 billion every year (50% increase) for the Dept. of the Interior
• $98.4 billion every year (25% increase) for the Dept. of the Treasury
• $819 million every year (11% increase) for the Environmental Protection Agency
• $2.6 billion every year (19% increase) for N.A.S.A.
• $3.3 billion every year (95% increase) for the National Science Foundation
This data comes from the Office of Management and Budget posted at www.WhiteHouse.Gov in "Table 4.1-Outlays by Agency: 1962-2017."