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CCAGW Supports McCain Amendment Ending Essential Air Service

Dépèche transmise le 14 février 2011 par Business Wire

CCAGW Supports McCain Amendment Ending Essential Air Service

CCAGW Supports McCain Amendment Ending Essential Air Service

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) expressed its enthusiasm for Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill aimed at eliminating the Essential Air Service (EAS). The EAS was created in the 1970s after airline deregulation to help a small number of rural communities retain access to air service. Originally intended to last just 10 years, the EAS has instead continued for 23 years while ballooning in size, further proving the economist Milton Friedman’s famous adage that “nothing is more permanent than a temporary government program.” Sen. McCain’s amendment would save taxpayers $200 million this year and $1 billion over five years.

“nothing is more permanent than a temporary government program.”

According to a September 19, 2009 article in the Los Angeles Times, “The Essential Air Service spends as much as thousands per passenger in remote areas. . . opponents call the program wasteful spending, noting that much of the money provides service to areas with fewer than 30 passengers a day.” Among the most absurd recipients of EAS subsidies is the Johnstown, Pennsylvania airport, tirelessly defended by the late Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa.), but from which just 18 flights leave each week. Johnstown is only two hours east of Pittsburgh International Airport by car.

The elimination of the Essential Air Service program has long been among CCAGW’s targets for spending cuts and is included in CAGW’s Prime Cuts database, a compendium of 763 waste-cutting recommendations that would save taxpayers $350 billion in the first year and $2.2 trillion over five years.

“Sen. McCain should be commended for taking a real step toward reducing frivolous government spending,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Frankly, we consider the EAS low-hanging fruit, something all members of Congress should oppose if they do not wish to leave future generations under a mountain of debt. If Congress balks at cutting programs that overreach their objectives and waste taxpayer dollars as flagrantly as the EAS, hope for a long-term cultural shift is dubious.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

Business Wire

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