By lex, on January 16th, 2012
A tax, by any other name: *
After almost 9,000 people urged the president to take damaging aviation user fees off the table, the administration on Jan. 13 offered its response: No way.
In a response to a petition ** on the White House’s “We the People” website, Office of Management and Budget Associate Director for General Government Programs Dana Hyde reaffirmed the Obama administration’s commitment to a proposed $100-per-flight fee for use of air traffic services, claiming that the fee would both “ensure that everyone is paying their fair share” and help reduce the deficit.
“We are disappointed but not surprised that the administration continues to seek a $100 user fee on general aviation flights,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “Congress has repeatedly said that a GA user fee is an unacceptable method of funding the air traffic system. Pay at the pump has worked since the dawn of powered flight and it still works. The last thing we need right now is to create an expensive new bureaucracy to fix what isn’t broken.”
Mr. Fuller should know that there is no intent here to “fix” anything. The the national airspace infrastructure is in place, and – unlike roads and highways – air routes are famously indifferent to government-funded “repairs”. Aviators already pay at the gas pump for their privilege to fly, with those who use more paying more.
No, it takes money to own and operate an airplane, and money implies success. As a point of moral order, success should be penalized, in order to subsidize deficiency.
Having no expectation of success themselves, some people more readily vote for a share of someone else’s money.
Because of the “fair share”, and that.
** Original link gone; changed – Ed.
*** Original link gone; no replacement – Ed.