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LaHood: Sequester Will Cause Massive Flight Delays

by Keith Koffler on February 22, 2013, 11:54 am

In its latest attempt to pressure Republicans by describing for the public the horrors of the sequester, the Obama administration today warned that fliers could experience delays of 90 minutes during peak travel periods as cuts to the Federal Aviation Administration go into effect.

Speaking at the White House, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the “vast majority” of FAA employees would be furloughed once per pay period and that in order the guarantee safety, flights will be scaled back. Delays to major hubs like New York and Chicago could reach 90 minutes or more, LaHood suggested, while air traffic control towers at more than 100 smaller airports will be closed altogether.

LaHood said if the sequester goes into effect as scheduled March 1, the effects should begin to be felt by the beginning of April.

“It’s going to be very painful for the flying public,” said LaHood. “This is going to have an enormous impact.”

LaHood heatedly denied that the administration was focusing on the worst possible consequences of the cuts in order to put the heat on the GOP.

“The idea we are doing this just to create some kind of horrific consequence is nonsense,” LaHood said.

But LaHood noted that the public will begin calling members of Congress and that he was trying to “wake up” Republicans.

“Why does this have to happen? Nobody likes a delay,” he said, adding, “I think Republicans need to step up here.”

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{ 45 comments }

RickW February 22, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Marvelous. Obama gave Ray something to do today, acting out the “Doom of the Day” plan for the Administration. Will Dr. Benjamin (I had to look her name up) cover Pestilence as the Surgeon General soon?

csinnm February 22, 2013 at 12:07 pm

and the low information voters will believe every word, unfortunately.

Star February 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

They already do–I had a very smart friend who watches no cable and reads no paper say: But isn’t this the Republicans’ fault? At this point, the Republicans will be blamed, the stupids will rule, but at least a little will be cut and maybe some people will see how inappropriate all these hysterics and threats are. It’s a game of inches.

Just2old February 22, 2013 at 1:13 pm

We’re living the movie Idiocracy!

Langley Spook February 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I use to think that movie was just cheap entertainment (and Maya Rudolph was kinda hot in it)
But now I see the movie Idiocracy is truly prophecy!!!

Chas February 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Chicken Little LaHood.

srdem65 February 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Shame, shame on the former Congressman for 14 years from Illinois (as he described himself many times) for pretending to scare the public with a slowdown in the control towers at airports. What’s another hour delay in what has to be a most aggravating experience known as flying; hours in security lines, hours waiting for the plane, overpriced, subpar airport food, and sitting closer than cheap sardines in a stuffy, smelly aluminum tube.

It’s not the public he wanted to scare; it’s the major airlines who will see their bottom line turn double red with fewer flights and fewer customers.

So far, it’s no more police, firefighters or emergency care people, fewer teachers to educate our children, 900,000 Pentagon employees will be furloughed, naval shipbuilding or repairs will be halted, public health will be comprimised with a lack of vaccine providers, bridges will tumble into the abyss, and now air traffic controllers will force us to wait “90″ minutes.
The only classes missing from this armageddon are the senior citizens and our brave veterans, but that could be for tomorrow’s Doom and Gloom program.

We’ll be looking for the SurgeonGeneral (as RickW suggests) to advise us that diseases will scourge the nation, a flunkie from the DEA will advise us that drug cartels will roam freely about the nation hooking innocents on their poisons, sincere spokesman from the ATFE will announce that former coal miners in WestVirginia will now be making moonshine without any fear of the law, oh geez, it just goes on.

Star February 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Raylan Givens might be laid off!!!

Lynn II February 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm

LOL … yes indeed

Otis Driftwood February 22, 2013 at 2:16 pm

you forgot one.. the boarders will be wide open and the undocumented immigrants will flood into the U.S. – oh wait, we already have that.

DeniseVB February 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Didn’t Reagan fire about 11,000 ATC’s ? I don’t recall being “doomed” then?

Lizzy February 23, 2013 at 11:49 am

My cousin got the heave ho on that one. They truly thought that the union would save them and they were irreplaceable…whoops they were
sadly mistaken. And we weren’t doomed my cousin was but not the flying public.

mo1 February 22, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I must need a subscription to the NY Times. I don’t understand how not INCREASING spending will cause cutbacks in the existing air traffic control work force. Or are the wroker getting a huge raise we don’t know about?

JP February 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm

So, what else is new? Flight delays are a part of traveling. Scare tactics don’t work for those who are educated.

Ratt February 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm

AND most low information voters probably fly very little if ever but are very vocal. I don’t care for Glenn Beck, but his segments where he calls various places and asks simple questions of LIV’s (LowInfoVoters) is a hoot. The LIV responses are a pretty sad comment on the state of our Nation. The week after our Ambassador was killed he called around asking “who” was Ben Gazi? I don’t recall any correct answers and only one knew that it was a “where” not a “who”. Sadly a small percentage admitted to supporting Romney.

JP February 22, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Ratt, I hear ya….the administration is trying to capture any and every low info voter. It figures that something will click with them so that they will just vote for the Dems no matter what because they might remember the one thing that bothered them about a situation like this.

I don’t care for Beck either, but you are right – the Friday LIV segments are a riot. But knowing how this country has voted in the last two general elections, it doesn’t surprise me at all that there are so many stupid – no….. – REALLY stupid and uninformed people out there.

Car in February 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Yawn. Who can afford to fly? Or go on vacation.

Island Girl February 23, 2013 at 2:38 am

Yep

Lynn II February 22, 2013 at 1:07 pm

…and the WAR on “We the People” continues unabated.
Their definition of “crisis management” , create crisis, scream and yell “doomsday is here”, spend more to avoid crisis….rinse and repeat

Just2old February 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm

BS!!!!! carrying water for the preezy who thought this up or was it ValJar?

Star February 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm

You mean H2funny?

veritaseequitas February 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm

“LaHood heatedly denied that the administration was focusing on the worst possible consequences of the cuts in order to put the heat on the GOP.”

Delayed flights are not the worst possible consequences of the sequester. Barack Obama is the author of this little shenanigan and the American people whose work hours will be cut or who will be laid off entirely are the people who will suffer the most at the hands of this monumental fool.

FredB February 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm

This has been called the Washington Monument play. So named because anytime Park’s budget is threatened they respond by saying, “Well, this means the Washington Monument will be closed to tourists.”

GotFreedom February 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Took an act of God (earthquake) to do that!

DeniseVB February 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Last time I visited DC in the summer, the Mall looked like hell, mostly dirt and gravel. I don’t think it ever recovered from BO’s first inaugural, when his “historic crowd of supporters” trashed it. NPS spending too much time in Michelle’s garden ? ;)

GotFreedom February 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Whether this is true or not, maybe it’s about time that America suffers a little bit (by being inconvenienced at that airport/pump/grocery, etc). . .this just might be what America needs to wake up and to take their right to vote more seriously instead of voting for just any Tom, Dick or Barry who sweet talks them!

Shofar February 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

With all the doom and gloom I am beginning to wonder if Obama et al were disappointed when the world didn’t end with the Mayan calendar.

Susan February 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Even with the phantom sequester ‘cuts’, the government is on track to spend $15 billion more this fiscal year than they did last year. These people should be ashamed of themselves for their fearmongering, but they aren’t. They are dedicated statists, who will do or say whatever their master tells them to do. None of this doom and gloom will happen if the sequester occurs, but it will if the politicians keep stuffing more and more money into this leviathan.

Darkangel February 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I have somewhere Mr. Lahood can put that Chicken Little routine of his. It’s brown, and it carries a lot of waste.

…What? I was referring to the Anacostia River.

William February 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Last time I flew, I had a three-hour delay without a sequester. If it drops my next delay by half, I say let it happen.

Star February 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I don’t know why I am writing again on this–it’s too dumb for words. It’s like little kids trying to out think each other…oh, yeah, well, well, I will starve some sick kids…Yeah? I will take over General Motors and get rid of Twinkies… What happened to hearings, authorization bills, appropriation bills, amendments…etc.? You know–Congress stuff, adults in adult jobs.

Langley Spook February 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Why does anyone in the WH or Cogress care if there are “flight delays” for lowly citizens?
The elite ruling class in the WH & Congress have access to private government aircraft and head-of-the-line/skip security privilieges.

Guillermo Grande February 22, 2013 at 2:31 pm

All this blamstorming is equal to an admission of incompetence. All of us who have a job just took some form or function of a 2% hit in the FICA tax. These supposed great managerial brains can’t sort out a 2.3% budget cut? Which is probably only effective after the annual increase is applied. Meaning spending won’t go up 5% but only 2.7% if they had the wherewithal to manage an across the board cut. But no….blamstorming with the press is sooo much more effective. Makes me sick to hear these people and their sanctimonious talk of working for the people.

Corey February 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm

It’s too expensive to fly anyways. Cut, cut, cut away!

JP February 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm

What is so amazing is the minute amount of money that will be saved as a result of sequestration and they are in a tizzy about that. imagine what it would be like it they were to cut say 25% instead of the measly 2% that might be cut? The troops would be marching in the streets, armed and ready. And you know what? Given the fact that we are in such deep doo-doo now, maybe the troops in the streets aren’t so far off.

Stevie February 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Where the hell is John Boner?
Wasn’t this sequester Zippy’s idea?

Guillermo Grande February 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Who do you mean by zippy? Like much of everything else these days, the sequestration is all Obama all the time. The House passed two bills Harry (can’t) Reid never took to a vote.

Guillermo Grande February 22, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Check out this video by crossroads courtesy of townhall.com: http://m.townhall.com/tipsheet/GuyBenson/2013/02/22/video-obamas-mess-n1518333 Clearly, Crossroads is a conservative org but they didn’t tell Obama what to say.
The associated narrative is pretty good too including an instructive quote from the WSJ: “Mr. Obama just whacked the economy with a roughly $160 billion tax increase in 2013 that he says will do no harm, but he wants us to believe that $85 billion in spending cuts will trigger a recession. ” http://m.wsj.com/articles/a/SB10001424127887323495104578314301609669998?mg=reno64-wsj

Julie Brueckheimer February 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm

We can laugh all we want, but sadly it’s stuff like this the Democrats will use on the public who will then use it on the Republicans to make them cave.

Kimbly February 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Makes about as much sense if you would tell someone they have to buy their coffee at McD’s instead of starbucks next year and they reply with “But I’ll starve!”

JP February 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Kimbly, McD’s coffee is way better than Starbucks any day!

Julie Brueckheimer February 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm

I agree!

C Bishop February 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm

And this “warning” from the same Secretary LaHood who told us NOT TO DRIVE our Toyotas…PERIOD!

When all these flunky generals, cabinet secretaries, etc. are trotted out to warn of impending DOOM & GLOOM…it makes me wonder do they receive an email or phone call from the White House aide TELLING them exactly what they will say and where they will say it….hmmmm?

ImNoDhimmi February 23, 2013 at 9:43 am

Travelling today already requires hours spent waiting and waiting and waiting in airports. What’s another 90 minutes?

xgluvopM6ZrlNS July 24, 2013 at 6:24 am

545843 628353What platform and theme are you employing if I could ask? Exactly where can I buy them? x 775050