In the news today we find this:
Under growing pressure, the Obama administration signaled Wednesday it might accept legislation eliminating Federal Aviation Administration furloughs blamed for lengthy delays affecting airline passengers, while leaving the rest of $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts in place.
The disclosure came as sentiment grew among Senate Democrats as well as Republicans for legislation to ease the impact of the cuts on the FAA, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood held talks with key senators.
Get that? The story begins, “Under growing pressure…” Under growing pressure from whom? Exactly who is putting such pressure on Congress and the White House that suddenly there are bipartisan efforts to fix a problem that bipartisan efforts—the sequester—caused in the first place?
But that’s not why I bothered to mention this development. This is:
At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney said that if Congress “wants to address specifically the problems caused by the sequester with the FAA, we would be open to looking at that.
“But that would be a Band-Aid measure,” he added. “And it would not deal with the many other negative effects of the sequester, the kids kicked off of Head Start, the seniors who aren’t getting Meals on Wheels, and the up to three-quarter of a million of Americans who will lose their jobs or will not have jobs created for them.”
Now, Jay Carney is right of course. Fixing the problem of flight delays at airports is only a small part of fixing the damage the sequester has done, is doing, to folks around the country. But I find something amazing, something telling, about what Congress and the White House are planning on doing regarding FAA furloughs and flight delays.
Republicans apparently are willing to get together with Democrats to fix a small problem that affects folks who fly—folks who can afford to fly, which generally means more affluent folks and a lot of business people—but they refuse to get together to fix the much larger problem of kids getting booted out of Head Start or older folks getting fewer Meals on Wheels, or the rather large number of Americans who will not have jobs because of the sequester.
That Republicans ignore poor kids and the elderly and the unemployed but are willing to fix a problem that at the most inconveniences folks who do a lot of expensive traveling on airplanes—which means a lot of Republican constituents—tells us everything we need to know about the Republican Party.
And that Democrats are apparently now willing to settle for this kind of “Band-Aid” approach and are not demanding that we also fix the problems the sequester has caused for people who won’t be spending much time waiting a few extra minutes at airports, tells us a lot about the Democratic Party leadership these days.