In 1981, President Reagan fired 11,000 illegally striking air-traffic controllers, nearly 85 percent of the workforce. Reagan took direct responsibility. He neither hid behind his FAA administrator, nor blamed the Democrats.
Two-thousand remaining air-traffic controllers, augmented by 3,000 supervisors and 900 military personnel, rapidly restored 80 percent of air-traffic capacity. The system operated safely despite a 45 percent reduction in manpower, while new controllers were quickly hired and trained. Recent FAA furloughs were equivalent to a 10 percent reduction in manpower.
Months ago, President Obama vowed to veto legislation granting him more flexibility to efficiently manage budget sequestration. Unlike the White House of 30 years ago, this administration did not seek to cope with fiscal reality, nor to operate efficiently. Rather, it demonstrated an elitist’s desire to expand government and its own power at all costs. Air-traffic delays were deliberately orchestrated and grossly exaggerated in order to blame Republicans, sequestration and the notion of limited government.
The media should blame this administration for its unwillingness to perform executive functions of government responsibly.
JOHN L. DRURY