Monday, October 29, 2007

More for those who don't need it

Sure these folks have an axe to grind, but the National Air Traffic Controllers Assn has a fascinating item on their site: FAA's New Approach to Safety: Spend more on luxury items, less on controllers and equipment.
Just two months after a high-profile Congressional hearing exposed widespread health and safety problems at Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control facilities across the country, and in the midst of crippling and unsafe communications outages, the FAA responded not by improving its maintenance practices but instead by going on an end-of-fiscal year spending spree to outfit scores of facilities with new and expensive furniture, televisions and other high-end items that have no relationship whatsoever to the safety of the flying public.
It does make you wonder. Some of the airports' expenditures seem pretty benign, things like office furniture and shredders. But take a look at Charlotte, where they bought LOTS of fancy furniture, a big plasma TV to replace a working projector, and spent $5000 on a refrigerator and freezer. Hmm. And what about the only expenditure in Rochester: a leather sectional? A 60-in LCD with surround sound for the cafeteria in Jacksonville? Hmmm.

Sort of helps to answer why the Bush administration has been the highest spending since Johnson. (And five times higher than Clinton's, according to Richard Vigurie.)



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