Enjoying Hightower? How about a weekly email that gives you the full scoop?
At issue was legislation to fund the Federal Aviation Administration. At the behest of airline lobbyists, Republican house leaders stopped the normal funding process by insisting on stripping airline workers of their right to form unions. This asinine game-playing meant that, on June 24, America’s essential airline safety agency began a shutdown that threatens about 36,000 workers (including safety inspectors) with layoffs. Another proud moment for airline greedheads and Republican boneheads!
But, claimed the boneheads, consumers would benefit, because the shutdown meant that FAA had to stop collecting the 7.5 percent tax on airline tickets, thus saving fliers up to $50 per round-trip flight. Ha! Fat chance of consumers ever catching a break from this gang. Sure enough, the week before the shutdown, airline honchos quietly began raising ticket prices by – you guessed it – 7.5 percent or more. So, the $50 per ticket that is supposed to help maintain and improve our nation’s air travel infrastructure instead siphoned straight into the bank accounts of American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, and US Air. Their ripoff adds up to some $30 million a day!
Perhaps you assume that this ripoff will stop once the FAA is back in action. Ha again! Airline CEOs are paid fat salaries and bonuses for being nimble-fingered pickpockets who keep inventing new schemes for lifting money from workers and customers alike. They have zero intention of rolling back this slick corporate tax on each ticket we buy. To help fight these greedheads, contact the Transportation Workers Union: www.twu.org.
“A Bonanza For Airlines As Taxes End,” The New York Times, July 26, 2011.
“Air taxes expire, but customers won’t see savings on most tickets,” Austin American Statesman, July 24, 2011.