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In our opinion: FAA delays

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  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 24, 2013 6:05 a.m.

    As stated, these cuts were supposed to be political, and painful. And yet, to date, completely ineffectual to creating any momentum towards an agreement.

    One has to wonder what it will take to get these two sides to work together. Right now it is clearly the day of party over country - my way or nothing.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    April 24, 2013 6:53 a.m.

    The DN parroting Republican talking points regarding the sequester, what a shock. The operative word leaving them an out is "probably". Why not "possibly" or "unlikely". The truth is that the DN's tea party friends have decided to throw the baby out with the bath water. Obama may have come up with the idea, but he failed to take into account the extreme obstructionism of the Tea Party. He actually thought that they would show some common sense. That was a foolish notion. For the Tea Party common sense takes a backseat to their extreme ideological positions.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    April 24, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    Probably? Of courde they are

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 24, 2013 7:02 a.m.

    Re: "Are the furloughs of air traffic controllers, leading to flight delays across the country this week, political?"

    Uh, yeah.

    The FAA's post-sequester budget is larger this year than last. They didn't furlough or shut down towers last year. So, why furlough and shut towers this year? It can only be for political purposes. An extension of Washington's perennial "shut down the Washington Monument" ploy.

    Anytime taxpayers begin to demand bloated government bear its fair share of a bad economy, rapacious politicians find dishonest ways to disingenuously "demonstrate" how cuts would be painful to real people.

    It's like going on strike for higher taxes. Only more sneaky and underhanded.

    So many low-information Americans are buffaloed by this tactic, it has become a standard item in venal politicians' toolkit, though the Obama regime has certainly elevated its use to dizzying new heights.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 24, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    Just part of the Obama sequester temper tantrum; how dare you tell me I can't keep spending money we don't have. You will be sorry.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 24, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    The cuts implemented affected a wide swath of federal spending. Choosing to call this bit of that spectrum political doesn't make it so.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 24, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    @ Hutterite, Need you be reminded that the so called sequester was not cuts at all but reductions in planned GROWTH in spending? Only in the government is a small reduction in spending growth called a "cut". Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had a least a bit of honesty in this issue?

  • KDave Moab, UT
    April 24, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    Four more years. Sigh.....

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 24, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    A couple of data points related to the ongoing federal budget quagmire:

    - Wealth for the top 7% went up 28% in two years, between 2009 and 2011. It went down for the other 93%. We can argue about whether the wealthy should shoulder a greater portion of the tax revenue situation than they already do, but as economic inequality widens, the wealthy will absolutely be paying a bigger share, simply because everyone else has less.

    - An impressive health sciences researcher from the UC-San Francisco Health Sciences Center spoke yesterday at the University of Utah, captivating U researchers with very promising findings from his lab, which partners extensively with Pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, his research is moving to Germany, to the Max Planck Institute in Frankfort. He specifically cited the tenuous funding situation from US government funding from the NIH as the reason for moving. This researcher has a very large "economic footprint", especially for emerging healthcare treatments. He'll be moving his partnerships to German pharmaceuticals.

    At the U we recently lost an excellent American researcher to Singapore, for the same reason.

    Funding stability is important to healthcare scientists.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 24, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    As a followup to my post above, the economic impact of the Sequester is not likely to hurt the wealthy, at all. If US pharmaceuticals suffer should more research move offshore, wealthy stockholders will simply move their invenstments to the offshore pharmaceuticals.

    It's nothing personal, it's just how to handle investment money. You move money to the companies that are performing, regardless of where they're located.

    The UC-SF researcher is not moving to Germany just to spite the politicians in Washington. He's doing what's best for his research, moving it to a more stable location where the funding is more solid and his resources can be spent doing research, instead of fighting for a shrinking pie of research funding in the US.

    Who loses in this situation? The US economy, the American worker, our kids and their futures.

    One of our researchers, from India, came here because the US was considered the place to be for top-flight health sciences research. They told me yesterday that perception is changing, in the past few years.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 24, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    Re: "Funding stability is important to healthcare scientists."

    It's just as important to real people. Maybe moreso.

    But, most of us don't have the luxury of having tax dollars perpetually heaved in our direction, willy-nilly, to stroke our fragile egos and incentivize our every odd whim.

    We actually have to produce something, in order to get paid.

    Unlike spoiled, whining academics. Who we're required to coddle and subsidize, and then listen to them chasten us for not being as good at coddling and subsidizing them as they think we should be.

    When I grow up, I want to be an academic, so I don't have to do anything except get paid.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 24, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    Of course. When local governments are not granted increased funds, the first thing they usually do to "economize" is to close the libraries and lay off policemen. It's their way of getting retribution on the public who denies them an open checkbook. The current administration is not different.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 24, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    We have a President who uses the power of his office to cause hardship to the citizens whom he governs. He uses every opportunity to make life difficult and stressful. He uses his "bully pulpit" to shout at us and demean us if we do not agree with him and his policies.

    Of course he will use this opportunity to cause havoc. He initiated the idea of using "sequester". Anyone who did not see him "set thing up" was not watching his slight of hand.

    Study history a little and see how many other national leader did exactly what Obama is doing today. See what happened to those people and how those "leaders" affected the world. It is not a pretty part of history.

    The crime being committed to America by not having a budget is enhanced by citizens who join with Obama as he stomps on the Constitution, by citizens who cheer him when he gives his divisive speeches, by citizens who use emotion and "political correctness" as the basis for their own decisions. He's counting on non-thinking people to help him cripple our ability to function.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    April 24, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    I'd like to see a real sequester (i.e. real reduction in spending) instead of this over-hyped we-are -only -going -to -spend - 4.9999% -more -this -year -instead -of -5%

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 24, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    procuradorafiscal:

    This particular whining, coddled academic who is moving to Germany and being wooed by their government and pharmaceutical industry is figuring out how to use cell replacement therapy instead of insulin, for diabetes.

    Maybe that will be a big deal, maybe not. But the discoveries, and potential peripheral findings, research and economic activity will be occuring there in Germany, and not here in the US. (Of course, you could make the case that since he's leaving California for Germany, it's really just California's loss, and by deduction, Utah's gain, a victory for Republicanism and a defeat for the Democrats in California.)

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    April 24, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    Perhaps if the salary reductions hit the Members of Congress rather than the Federal Employees you might find an impetus to move much more quickly in resolving the spending issues than you do now.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 24, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    The FAA delays are just a decietful way of creating controversy. Just look at the airports that have lost controllers due to the sequester. They are major airports, except the Washington DC airports. You should ask yourself why it is that Washington has exempted itself from feeling the pain? You should also ask why it is that the cuts couldn't have been made at airports that are either over staffed or under utilized? I know of airports that have 8 airline flights per day. Could small airports like that do with fewer controllers?

    If congress was serious about the sequester, they would have included themselves and the President in the sequester cuts.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 24, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    Most of the cuts were designed for the media to point a finger of scorn at sequester are cuts thrown in to be used for dramatization and aren't really affecting government spending.

    The temp furlows COULD have been coordinated and spread around so it didn't have any affect on the flying public (but no... why waste a perfect opportunity to make your point). And if this goes like most government furlows, the controlers will make back what they lost in the furlow in a few weeks in overtime pay while the other controlers are out. And why couldn't they furlow some office workers, managers, support staff, or janators instead of furlowing air traffic controlers (the people who would put the public in the most danger)??

    Same thing goes for the President deciding to cut White House Tours. He said it was too expensive to provide security. But no security people were actually layed off... just re-assigned to other duties in Washington DC. So how did THAT save any money? And then he has a party for his elitist friends days after cutting tours for commoners??? Really? It was about cutting expenses? Not likely.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    April 24, 2013 2:10 p.m.

    "The biggest issue for the FAA is that 71% of its operations budget goes to pay salaries for controllers, supervisors, air safety inspectors and technicians. When an agency with high personnel costs is asked to cut about 5% of its annual budget in just SEVEN months, by definition a large chunk of that has to come from personnel.

    Personnel costs are a large part of the FAA budget, and they have jumped significantly because of a new union contract — reached through arbitration in 2009 — with controllers. The FAA estimates that the three-year agreement will cost $669 million more than extending previous work rules.

    FAA expenses have also climbed because, under congressional pressure, it has bolstered the ranks of aviation safety inspectors. The FAA is also investing in the NextGen air traffic control system, which relies on satellites, rather than ground equipment, to guide aircraft. (Officials say the sequester may affect NextGen implementation.)"
    "Sequester Politics: the FAA claims of furloughs and closed towers"
    Washington Post

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 24, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    2-bits:

    You seem to be contradicting yourself. In the first paragraph you suggest the FAA shouldn't furlough air-traffic controllers, instead focusing on office workers and custodians. In the second paragraph you imply the White House isn't serious about cutting spending because no security guards were furloughed, just reassigned.

    An air traffic controller makes a lot more money than office workers, custodians or security guards. Do you want the spending to be cut, or not?

    Perhaps we should employ the maximum libertarian approach and just eliminate the FAA altogether, and let freedom reign in the skies. You know, just tell planes to just look out for each other.

    Then, when there's an aviation disaster, you can blame it on Obama. (I think I'm getting the hang of this rightwing thinking thing. How do I run for office?)

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    April 24, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    FAA officials have said they have no choice but to furlough ALL 47,000 agency employees, including nearly 15,000 air traffic controllers. Each employee will lose one day of work every other week.

    The FAA flexibility in making cuts as a result of sequestration is restricted somewhat by law. They do not have full flexibility to cut anywhere in the FAA budget. They are limited in the way they can transfer money around their budget.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    April 24, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    This whole thing could be solved simply by being smart just like any business owner,cut the pay of the workers. An air traffic controller makes six thousand dollars a month so all we need to do is to cut each by five percent of their pay. That would be a grand three hundred dollars a month. The belt tightening would be only a minor irritation. Such a simple thing to do but not for our government. Oh we'll

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    April 24, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    Truth seeker makes no sense, a day off every other week? That is about a 12% reduction, not 5% as required, someone is being snookered here.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 24, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    BlueDevil, Mike in Cedar
    Remember, BO proposed the sequestration

    10CC,
    Who makes how much and who does not has NOTHING to do with the discussion. And if BO’s sequester idea will not hurt the wealthy, as you claim, it is BO who is benefitting the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.

    If DHS were to sell even half of the 2 billion rounds of ammo they bought so they could give them to the social security administration and other non law enforcement agencies and redirected the funds to the FAA, they could afford not to furlough

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    April 24, 2013 7:01 p.m.

    re:highschoolfan

    The FAA says just one-third of its total $637 million in cuts will be achieved from furloughs, with the rest coming from reductions in other areas like travel, training, and contracts.

    Republicans touted and supported sequestration after it was passed. CBO estimated there could be 700,000 who will lose their jobs and a result of sequestration, others put it closer to 350,000. Apparently Republicans think the economy has recovered to the point that putting more people out of work is acceptable.

    Earlier this week it was discovered that major research conducted by 2 economists, Reinhart and Rogoff regarding govt. debt and economic growth had major errors including exclusion of some data. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, in a new study, using Reinhart and Rogoff's research data say that the average real growth rate for countries with a public debt to GDP ratio of more than 90 percent "is actually 2.2 percent, not minus 0.1 percent as published by Reinhart and Rogoff.

    Oops....

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    April 26, 2013 5:00 p.m.

    The FAA has shut down a lot of small airport towers as well. It's not just large airports. Really, where do you get your information. Nevermind, we know.

    Anyway the FAA was supposed to have implemented Nextgen by now which requires far less controllers in the first place. If airlines would stop crying that the onboard equipment is too expensive, they could largely control themselves in the air. But they prefer the government keep paying gazillions so they don't have to spend millions. The true nature of conservatism.