Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

"Mobs Do Not Storm the Capitol to Do Good Deeds." -- not James Lee Burke

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

All Pork is Local; Air Services Edition

Both Alaskan Senators are defending the Essential Air Services Program:
"I agree with Senator McCain that we need to do something to address our nation's budget deficit," [Senator] Begich said. "But I don't believe you should balance the federal budget on the backs of communities and people facing some of the highest costs of living and toughest conditions in the country. And that is exactly what this McCain amendment would do," he said.

"I can say without any reservation that this amendment would create an economic and a transportation disaster for Alaska, including the loss of jobs, livelihoods and would potentially impact health and medical situations," [Senator] Murkowski said.

"The complete elimination of the EAS program could destabilize many of our rural communities, could negatively impact the integrity of Alaska's interconnected aviation system and severely reduce air services to essential parts of the state.

"Given what we face with the limited road system, weather and terrain issues, we in the state treat an airplane or helicopters like most Americans would treat their minivans. "Aircraft in Alaska are not just a nice thing to have.

"They are a lifeline for survival, for subsistence, for travel, for recreation. They're truly an essential part of our everyday life."
I will take what they say about the importance of air transportation for remote Alaskan communities to be the truth.

But so what? If EASP funds "vital air transportation" for Alaskans, then other projects fund vital road and bridge repairs/improvements for the rest of us. And many of those projects are also being looked at for slashing. Heating assistance for poor folk is being cut. Why should Alaskans be subsidized by the rest of us?

In 2010, Hell, Alaska gave every Alaskan citizen $1,281.00. No other state, to my knowledge, gives people money just because they live there. Alaska has about 720,000 people, which means that last year, Alaska handed out $922 million to its citizens.

Last year, Alaska received $12 million for its share of EASP. If Alaskans think it is important to subsidize air travel within the state, fine, they can bloody well pay for it themselves. If they shaved seventeen bucks from everyone's permanent fund check, that'd cover the costs of subsidizing air travel in the state.

But Alaskans are no different from anyone else. They are all in favor of cutting federal spending as long as those cuts don't impact them.

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