Dems stand tall for wasteful spending

Rick Moran
We've written about Rep. John Murtha's personal airport in the past. Editor Thomas Lifson referred to it as a"subsidized Taj Mahal" which, when you consider the facility sees only 3 flights per day and passengers must be subsidized at the rate of about $147 per person, Mr. Lifson's characterization may, in fact, be an understatement.

Well, Jim DeMint decided to test how serious the senate was about trying to get runaway spending under control so he introduced an amendment cutting $1.5 million from the airport's funding. The results were predictable:

The Senate has rejected an amendment that would have killed funding for the John Murtha Airport in Johnstown, Pa., turning back an effort by fiscal conservatives to yank earmarks from a largely deserted airport named after a controversial lawmaker.

The vote was 43-53, as Democrats decided to retain funding for an airport that has only three flights a day and is named after Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a powerful appropriator who has come under increasing scrutiny for earmarks and his relationships with defense contractors in his district.

The Murtha airport has received a total of $150 million in funding and currently receives about $1.5 million a year. The three daily flights - all to Washington - leave the Johnstown airport, and quite often the airplanes are half-empty.

The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), was the latest in a series of amendments engineered by fiscal conservatives to embarrass Democrats. The House on Thursday voted to kill ACORN funding, following a similar Senate vote last week.

But on the Murtha amendment before the Senate today, Democrats seemed swayed by the arguments of the two Pennsylvania senators, Arlen Specter and Bob Casey, who warned that yanking funding would kill jobs in an already economically depressed area.

So you and I are subsidizing not only passengers who fly out on the 3 flights per day but also the jobs at this white elephant of an airport.

I feel for people who would get thrown out of work, but are we supposed to subsidize this clear, and egregious waste of taxpayer money just so people can keep working at a ghost town of an airport? Perhaps it would be interesting to see just how much "work" is being performed at an airport where there are hours and hours of free time between flights with no baggage to load or unload, no tickets to take, no passengers to serve in the stores and restaurants, no one to go through security, no one who needs any customer service, and no one to walk through and dirty the floors.

Just what does a worker do at an airport that doesn't need any workers?

No matter. DeMint sounds depressed here:

"I'm glad most Republicans and few brave Democrats stood against this abuse of taxpayer dollars," DeMint said. "American people are speaking out against spending and debt, but sadly the majority in the Senate still isn't listening. Senators who voted for Murtha's boondoggle have little credibility calling for fiscal responsibility."

I'm a little depressed too.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky




 
We've written about Rep. John Murtha's personal airport in the past. Editor Thomas Lifson referred to it as a"subsidized Taj Mahal" which, when you consider the facility sees only 3 flights per day and passengers must be subsidized at the rate of about $147 per person, Mr. Lifson's characterization may, in fact, be an understatement.

Well, Jim DeMint decided to test how serious the senate was about trying to get runaway spending under control so he introduced an amendment cutting $1.5 million from the airport's funding. The results were predictable:

The Senate has rejected an amendment that would have killed funding for the John Murtha Airport in Johnstown, Pa., turning back an effort by fiscal conservatives to yank earmarks from a largely deserted airport named after a controversial lawmaker.

The vote was 43-53, as Democrats decided to retain funding for an airport that has only three flights a day and is named after Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a powerful appropriator who has come under increasing scrutiny for earmarks and his relationships with defense contractors in his district.

The Murtha airport has received a total of $150 million in funding and currently receives about $1.5 million a year. The three daily flights - all to Washington - leave the Johnstown airport, and quite often the airplanes are half-empty.

The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), was the latest in a series of amendments engineered by fiscal conservatives to embarrass Democrats. The House on Thursday voted to kill ACORN funding, following a similar Senate vote last week.

But on the Murtha amendment before the Senate today, Democrats seemed swayed by the arguments of the two Pennsylvania senators, Arlen Specter and Bob Casey, who warned that yanking funding would kill jobs in an already economically depressed area.

So you and I are subsidizing not only passengers who fly out on the 3 flights per day but also the jobs at this white elephant of an airport.

I feel for people who would get thrown out of work, but are we supposed to subsidize this clear, and egregious waste of taxpayer money just so people can keep working at a ghost town of an airport? Perhaps it would be interesting to see just how much "work" is being performed at an airport where there are hours and hours of free time between flights with no baggage to load or unload, no tickets to take, no passengers to serve in the stores and restaurants, no one to go through security, no one who needs any customer service, and no one to walk through and dirty the floors.

Just what does a worker do at an airport that doesn't need any workers?

No matter. DeMint sounds depressed here:

"I'm glad most Republicans and few brave Democrats stood against this abuse of taxpayer dollars," DeMint said. "American people are speaking out against spending and debt, but sadly the majority in the Senate still isn't listening. Senators who voted for Murtha's boondoggle have little credibility calling for fiscal responsibility."

I'm a little depressed too.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky