The sequester cuts aren’t going to affect D.C. area airports. I am flabbergasted, dumbfounded and aghast with surprise at this news. You mean to tell me that Congress won’t be mildly inconvenienced by the sequester? Shocking.
Now, I recognize that Michael Huerta of the FAA told a Congressional panel “that the Washington region’s airports are spaced out enough and have enough spare capacity that furloughs to air traffic controllers won’t hurt as much here.”
So there are valid, structural reasons why the D.C. area is not going to feel any sequester pain in traveling. But what better metaphor for Washington’s dysfunction then painful budget cuts that affect everyone except D.C. politicians trying to get home. In New York, airplane service is going to dramatically affected by furloughs of Air Traffic Controllers. In Arizona, sequestration has been affecting the 43,000 defense industry workers well before March 1.
It’s incredible how Washington politicians never have to feel the actual impact of their decisions. They exempt themselves from OSHA regulations on Capitol Hill (but your small business better comply or else), they make sure they get pay raises and they sext (as kids these days like to say) without consequence to their long-term careers.
It’s clear that with a debt running close to $17 trillion that a serious change in the way this country budgets have to be made. Entitlements would be a great place to start.
However, Washington pols continue to live in an isolated bubble where they never have to face the impact of their hugely important decisions. Someone should pass a law forcing members of Congress to spend one week a year living in the shoes of one of their average constituents. Of course, Congress would exempt itself from that law, but it is the thought that counts.