We posted a piece last week that alerted everybody what the televangelists and GOP were doing to our aviation safety and jobs because they want to ultimately go union-busting against the workers. Tea Party Crazy Dominated GOP Threaten Aviation Safety While Engaging In Union Busting
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Now that their plan is taking effect, we're already seeing the odious results of the endeavor.
As anticipated, the Federal Aviation Administration's operating authority expired at midnight Friday and the agency partially shut down. While air traffic controllers are still on the job and air travel continues more or less normally, nearly 4,000 other FAA employees are currently furloughed without pay. Additionally, nearly 87,000 construction jobs are affected as FAA-funded airport construction projects are forced to shut down. This includes projects from $10,000 to tens of millions of dollars, scattered across the country.
All of which is probably fine with House Republicans, since the whole purpose of this exercise was to make things more difficult for workers, anyway. By trying to make union representation elections operate by undemocratic rules, they put people out of work instead—maybe that's a job well done in their eyes.
The FAA is also unable to collect taxes on airline tickets bought, depriving the government of $200 million a week in revenue. But the great little coda to this story is that consumers aren't seeing savings:
[I]nstead of passing along the savings, the airlines are pocketing the money while customers pay the same amount as before.
American, United, Continental, Delta, US Airways, Southwest, AirTran and JetBlue all raised fares, although details sometimes differed. Most of the increases were around 7.5 percent.
It's like the Republican dream: Not only is the government not collecting revenue, that same revenue is going straight to corporations, for no reason. Why would they ever agree to end this shutdown?
The AFL-CIO sent out an email urging people to take action:
Last weekend, House Republican leaders proved just how far they are willing to go to achieve their ideological goals.
At 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning, they shut down the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As if bringing America to the brink of default hasn’t done enough damage already. Are they out of their minds?
Because of the extreme ideological agenda of House Republicans and their political game-playing, 4,000 workers were furloughed over the weekend and more than 90,000 jobs across the country are on the line—including 1,026 in DC.(1)
Meanwhile, the government is out $200 million a week in airline ticket fees that normally fund our aviation infrastructure. That loss now will be added to the national debt.
And if you've been following the media, whenever a TV pundit asks a GOP politician about the FAA shutdown, they just lie in their responses. I really don't expect many hosts or anchors to have much of a grasp on the story, but some basic knowledge wouldn't be a bad idea to counter the spin.
Laura catches the WaPo of doing Karl Rove's handiwork for the GOP.