Due to the wholly crazy and inefficient way in which the Federal Government funds things, it appears that as of midnight last night the Federal Aviation Administration is broke. Well, most federal agencies are broken to one extant or another, but in this case the FAA has no more cash to pay some of it's employees...oh, it also has lost it's ability to collect several air travel related taxes, meaning if you were to jump online right now and buy plane tickets, you would save yourself some green. The amount of green varies, but at a minimum you would not get charged the 7.5% excise tax on plane tickets, and if you were flying from Alaska/Hawaii or to an international destination, you would not be charged somewhere between $8-18 of 'departure taxes'.
Fear not for your safety though...you WILL still be charged the 'Post-9/11 Security Fee'.
Mathematically, this inability to collect taxes is expected to prevent the FAA from collecting up to $200 MILLION a week. This will then lead to furlough's of almost 4,000 (not safety related job having) employees, whose salary's come out of a trust fund that is funded by these taxes. That confuses me, because if they are losing $200 MILLION a week, and only letting 4000 people go, was the average salary of those 4000 people $50,000 a week?
I don't think I'm a particularly ignorant person, but I had no idea the FAA was in this type of position. Apparently, the FAA has not had a long-term funding plan in place since 2007. Since way back then Congress couldn't agree on a long-term solution(sound familiar?) the FAA has been operating on a series of 20 'Funding Extension' bills.
What a god-damned joke. This is so representative of everything that has come out of D.C.(not just D.C...every legislature of every state also) for as long as I can remember...NO ONE wants to be the bad guys, or have to make tough decisions, and hey, the money is there, so let's just keep extending and extending things.
Except now the money isn't there, and you can't dig the whole any deeper, so you finally NEED to make some hard decisions...and they still refuse to. It's easier to pout because each side can't have it's own way.
Well, the good news is that my wife is scheduled to fly to Connecticut for a friends wedding next week. Legal types are saying that if you bought you paid taxes when you purchased a service in advance, and then the agency lacks the ability to collect said taxes when you use said service, you might be due a refund.
But, hey, at least the TSA will still be the grope her at the airport...maybe she can find a date for the wedding!