Case in point: the Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement last week that as of April 7 it would no longer fund on-site airport traffic controllers at non-airline airports. Among the airports affected would be Cobb County McCollum Field just outside Kennesaw, which despite its comparative low profile is annually one of Georgia’s five busiest airports. Why worry about safety when there are political points the president thinks he can make?
However, he’s finding out that door swings both ways. While Obama and his Capitol Hill allies talk about how the Sequester will mean job cuts for teachers and firefighters (who typically are paid with local funding, not federal, which he apparently doesn’t know), the president’s critics have been quick to publicize some of the federal spending he could be cutting, but isn’t.
Things like the three White House calligraphers, who together earn almost $277,000 per year. Or the Environmental Protection Agency’s $141,000 spent on a Chinese study of swine manure. Yes, swine manure.
And as long as we’re talking about four-legged critters, how about the National Science Foundation’s $325,000 funding for construction of a robotic squirrel?
Let’s not overlook the White House failure to cut a dime from its $27 million project to help fund pottery classes in Morocco.
And as the Wall Street Journal reported late last week, “The government gave a $3,700 grant to build a miniature street in West Virginia — out of Legos. It shelled out $500,000 to support specialty shampoo products for cats and dogs. A San Diego outfit got $10,000 for trolley dancing. The feds last year held 894 conferences that each cost more than $100,000 — $340 million altogether.”
Yet, in a PR stunt that quickly backfired, Obama announced that he was cancelling tours of the White House because of the Sequester cuts, saving about $18,000 a week, which as Forbes magazine noted was the rough equivalent of the cost of keeping Air Force One in the air for two hours.
President Obama has argued, in so many words, that the only good government is big government, and the bigger it is, the better. He has an insatiable desire for new taxes to feed that bureaucracy, and while he is fine with taking an axe to Defense, it’s more apparent than ever that when it comes to any sort of meaningful spending cuts, he’s all talk, no action.
The American people deserve better.