Regarding the April 27 news article “Obama gets bill easing air delays”:
So a few days of inconvenience for air travelers (meaning mostly business passengers) led both houses of Congress to hurry up and pass a special sequester exception for Federal Aviation Administration funding so that air traffic controllers would not have to be furloughed. See, lawmakers can reach agreement when their big contributors complain. Congress has now gone on recess, returning home to raise more funds so that members can get reelected.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the regular folks in local congressional districts still have to deal with less money for Meals on Wheels, decreased payments for the unemployed and the closing of Head Start programs. Millions do not have health care; students can no longer afford college educations. Our infrastructure needs are unfunded, and public employees are being fired. Federal employees are seeing furloughs affect their paychecks, and contractors are laying off workers. The fragile recovery continues to sputter.
Still think that the 99 percent are being heard on Capitol Hill? Think again.
Sharon Dooley, Olney
I am a frequent air traveler, and in the past several days I got caught in the flight delays resulting from the budget cuts. While I have been unequivocally opposed to the sequester on the grounds that it’s an insane budget tool, I was willing to suck up the inconveniences, as the cuts were supposedly being spread equally across our society. But apparently I was mistaken. Those with the loudest voices, the biggest lobbies and the deepest pockets brought Congress and the White House to their knees in less than 72 hours, and they received relief from the sequester so that they can travel without bearing any sacrifice.
I am happy that FAA employees don’t have to take furlough days. But I am ashamed about the unfair and regressive application of the sequester’s consequences. For the powerless, the voiceless, the most needy and invisible poor, they get SOP — sequester operating procedure — and bear the brunt of the cuts.
Arnold F. Fege, Annandale