The Sequestered Skies

Andrew Stiles, who makes Rush Limbaugh seem bipartisan, wonders if the Obama administration is “trying to maximize the pain of sequestration”:

The FAA has insisted these cutbacks are unavoidable, but the administration has a clear political interest in maximizing the public’s outrage, so critics aren’t buying it. The airline industry has complained that it is caught in the middle of the political fight over sequestration and that the FAA risks interrupting services more than necessary. One industry insider tells National Review Online that the airlines are being used as a “political football” in this debate and suggests that the FAA’s cuts don’t “really have to be done in this way.”

Good try. But wrong

[A]ir traffic control slowdowns were totally predictable. At least 70 percent of FAA’s expenses are personnel-related so it was inevitable that the 5.1 percent across-the-board sequester cut would be felt in everything the agency does including — or especially — in its primary function: managing air traffic. When you set up a system like sequestration that requires an agency or department to cut every program, project, and activity by the same percentage, and when an agency’s spending is mostly for salaries and other compensation-related expenses, it’s not hard to see from the start that there has to be an impact on the number of people doing that agency’s work.

No amount of outraged statements from Senate and House Republicans changes that budget reality.

Recent Dish on the sequester here.