| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Playing with lives: Sequester games in the air

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

“Believe you've been a victim of prohibited practices by air carriers or travel agents?” asks the U.S. Department of Transportation website. “We may be able to help you. File a complaint now.”

Pity that the site doesn't include a complaint prompt for a nation being victimized by the DOT in the name of promoting President Obama's push for higher taxes.

The department's Federal Aviation Administration has begun furloughing air traffic controllers to save $600 million. It's all part of the “sequester” — mandatory budget cuts pushed by the president (and adopted by Congress) as a cudgel to force taxing and spending reforms.

And this week, with fewer controllers on the job, fliers began seeing hours-long delays.

Never mind that the DOT and FAA could have cut in other areas. Think of the slickly produced “Women in Transportation” video series. Think of 18,000 employees over the last eight years who've traveled to “conferences,” among others.

DOT boss Ray LaHood actually smirked — smirked! — on camera at the premise that the cuts are political. If the public doesn't want the cuts, they should lobby Congress to raise their taxes, he effectively retorted.

But Mr. LaHood's lie is exposed by Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Turns out the FAA has $2.7 billion lying around in nonoperations personnel accounts; cutting that spending could have easily offset the need to furlough controllers.

The Obama administration has chosen not merely to inconvenience the flying public but to endanger it. That's not merely political. It could end up being criminal.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. Sunday pops
  2. EPA diktats: Pushing back
  3. The Box
  4. Kittanning Laurels & Lances
  5. Regional growth
  6. Jamestown revealed: History comes alive
  7. Intrepid salute
  8. Yes, the IRS targeted conservatives
  9. Greensburg Tuesday takes
  10. Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
  11. The Thursday wrap