Not having read about any planes falling from the sky in recent days, and not having heard about panic ensuing at O'Hare, my immediate question is: Okay, let's make this a test of conservatives' attitudes toward government spending. Has the fact that the FAA been "largely shut down" had any noticeable impact on service being rendered by America's airlines? What's been the direct result of that partial shutdown?
This seems to be the best case the Times editorialist can come up with for upheaval having - well, soon to be having - ensued:
At Roanoke Regional Airport, a $5.2 million aircraft rescue and fire station is on hold as a result. The airport received bids and was ready to negotiate a contract with a local firm, but it can do nothing until the FAA can write checks.Consider for a moment the fact that Roanoke Regional Airport already has an aircraft rescue and fire station on site. This one would simply be more luxurious. (Why not equip the existing station with new stuff, if it's necessary?)
In Blacksburg, the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport continues work on its runway extension, but if the FAA shutdown persists, eventually it will have to stop.
And consider the fact that the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport is a whole sixteen miles from the Roanoke Regional Airport, which means it doesn't even need to exist (those Virginia Tech executives can easily drive over to Roanoke from Blacksburg in their little electric cars and hop a plane there).
So what's the harm in "largely shutting down" the FAA again?
I say we take that experience and apply it to the Department of Labor. Would anyone miss it? What the heck does it even do besides inform us once a month as to the number of us who can't find work? Can we largely shut it down too and let the unemployed earn their monthly check by compiling their own figures?
Talking about the dysfunctional United States government is one thing. But look at the definition of the word government and, by God, there's the word dysfunction. It is in its nature to be so.
Case in point? What is the tiny Roanoke Regional Airport going to do with two fire stations that sit idle 364 days out of the year?
Only in the world of government ...