The flights delays due to The Sequester were of a focus this week on social media, mainstream news, and in Washington where politicians rapidly responded to come up with a fix.
The rapid response has led to a steady drum beat making the point that when it wants to Washington can fix things, so why doesn't attend to more serious problems.
Beat one: The Rev. Margaret Watson, posting a letter to her representatives in Washington,
Here is my concern: The "Sequester" cuts have cut to the bone here on the Reservation. Our Social Services workers will be working without a direct office supervisor, and will be expected to absorb the work load of their supervisor when she is laid off beginning May 1. They already each have over 150 clients. I have heard one serves more than 260 clients --adding more is going to make a difficult job impossible.
I'll say it again: Don't exempt yourselves from the burden the poor must bear every day.
I can only say I am shocked and depressed by my own government. Do better than this. The people you are supposed to serve deserve better.
Beat two: Josh Barro,
our country can afford a few weeks of airport dysfunction. It’s time for elites to be told they can’t have a fix to their problems unless the poor get one, too.
Beat three: Jim Tankersley,
Why does Washington worry more about air delays than the 12 million unemployed? ... The rest of the country understands how badly the economy continues to hurt ordinary Americans. Washington apparently doesn’t. The federal government has failed for several years now to pass meaningful legislation to boost growth and job creation, a partisan paralysis that holds while 12 million people look for work but can’t find it – but which vanishes in a matter of days when it comes to fixing delays at the nation’s airports.
Beat four: Mark Thoma,
If wage stagnation and growing inequality somehow caused flight delays and other inconveniences for those who are doing okay -- the people with the most political power -- maybe we'd put more effort into doing something about it.
Beat five: Matthew Yglesias,
Congress ignores the poor yet again.... Confused as to why the U.S. Senate has snapped into action to prevent sequestration-induced flight delays but has done nothing for low-income families losing their Section 8 vouchers or slots in day care programs? Wondering why FAA flight controllers are more important than teachers on Native American reservations?
it turns out that when Congress cuts domestic discretionary spending "across the board," it doesn't really cut it across the board. A program that's important to prosperous frequent travelers gets spared the ax.
this chart from Larry Bartels' 2005 paper on "Economic Inequality and Political Representation" tells you what you need to know.