The strange budget priorities of Obama: Subsidizing car purchases for the 1% over poor children and airline safety

posted at 9:15 am on February 16, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

In my column for The Fiscal Times today, I remind readers that budgets are statements of priorities.  Barack Obama’s budget shows his priorities on many levels, both at the macro and micro level.  Given the large amount of new spending and higher taxes, it’s very easy to conclude at the macro level that Obama doesn’t think that spending reductions are a priority at all.  How about on the micro level?  Changes to three different programs give an even clearer indication of Obama’s priorities:

One is to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program that helps poor children opt out of failing public schools in the nation’s capital. In 2011, Republicans in Congress fought to restore funding to the voucher program after Obama cut it in his FY2010 budget, and they managed to restore those funds for five years in the FY2012 compromise package.

Now, Obama has removed the entire $13 million for this program in his FY2013 budget proposal, a move that his union supporters in the National Education Association will cheer, but which will create despair among parents whose children will once again be denied access to school choice in Washington D.C.

Obama’s red line has also cut the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program in half, reducing its funding from an FY2012 level of $25 million to just $12 million in FY2013.  At the same time, the budget reduces the federal Air Marshal budget by 4 percent, a reduction of $36.5 million.  FFDO trains and provides continuous certification for commercial pilots to arm themselves in the cockpit, and air marshals provide plainclothes security to intervene in any security emergency. …

The cost savings from pushing poor kids out of the voucher program and making commercial flight less safe together add up to about $63 million. On the other side of the ledger: taxpayer subsidies for buying Chevy Volts. …

Obama proposes to boost the subsidy to $10,000 per car and projects at least 10,000 units sold in FY2013, which would be a new cost of $100 million in that year alone just from the taxpayer-funded rebates at the point of sale, far outstripping what was saved by eliminating the DC voucher program and cutting effective airline security.

Who gets these subsidies? According to GM’s CEO Dan Akerson, the average annual salary for a Volt buyer is $170,000 per year. That is about the average income for a BMW owner, about $40,000 a year higher than the average Cadillac buyer, and about $30,000 more than the average Lexus driver. Only a high-income earner could afford to take the financial risk of owning an electric vehicle that will have zero resale value when the batteries fail in five to eight years.

We’ve written at length about Obama’s hostility to the DC voucher program, but the FFDO cuts are something new.  The program’s annual operating budget hasn’t increased in years over its current $25 million, which goes to the administrative costs of training and certifying commercial airline pilots to arm themselves in order to protect the cockpit against terrorist attacks.  The pilots bear most of the cost of the training; they have to either use vacation time or lose flight pay to spend a week in New Mexico to get their initial certification to carry, and get the routine requalifications on their own time as well.

How effective are these federal flight deck officers (FFDOs)?  The president of their association, Marcus Flagg, testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs in November of last year to emphasize the importance of this relatively inexpensive program.  Flagg told the Senate that the FFDO program was “the most cost effective security measure we have to date,” and that FFDOs are “the first line of deterrence and the last line of defense.”  However, Flagg also told the Senate that TSA was hostile to the FFDO program from its inception, and that the agency actively “restricted FFDOs as much as possible.”

Interestingly, TSA only got a 3% cut in funding down to $5.1 billion for FY2013 in Obama’s proposal, even though the airline security fee paid by travelers per leg of travel increases from $2.50 to $5 when the budget passes.  The air marshal program got a 5% cut, as noted above.  How cost effective is the FFDO program?  Flagg testified:

Currently, FFDOs provide five times the coverage of the Federal Air Marshal Service at 1/25th the cost. The cost of each Federal Air Marshal is around $3,300 per flight. A pair of FAMs cost roughly $6,600 per flight. FFDOs cost roughly $15 per flight. Comparing the two, the same expenditure allows 440 FFDO missions to the single FAM mission. Which program is more cost effective?

It’s clearly more cost effective than subsidizing Chevy Volts.  Just when the FFDO program needs more pilots, as Flagg warned, the nearly 50% cut in the FFDO program budget will ensure fewer new pilots enter the service and fewer of the current FFDOs requalify.  If we are going to spend money, why are we spending it to subsidize the purchases of vehicles by people averaging $170,000 a year in salary rather than on commercial flight security, which is an actual federal responsibility?


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Obama keeps showing us EXACTLY how much regard he has for the poor and most vulnerable.

Like his own brother…

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 9:19 AM

One is to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program that helps poor children opt out of failing public schools in the nation’s capital.

The reason Obama zero’s out this budget item is obvious, Ed. If there is a chance that children will be educated, I mean really educated, then the Democrats will lose a huge voting base in a few years.

dirtseller on February 16, 2012 at 9:20 AM

For a moment I thought that Ed was going to attack Obama for not restoring Republican demanded cuts in Head Start; by far the most proven successful anti-poverty program in American history. But nope, this was about the voucher agenda. I must remember not to get my hopes up.

libfreeordie on February 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

I bet a grand total of ZERO Republican presidential candidates will mention this.

joekenha on February 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

The dumber people are, the more they vote Democratic!
Is there a problem here?

KOOLAID2 on February 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

The priorities are easy to identify here, Ed. The Obama administration would prefer that we go up (or down) in flames whether we’re driving a Volt, or flying across the country.

Priorities

ted c on February 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Head Start; by far the most proven successful anti-poverty program in American history.

Links, please, to research showing that.

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Obama does not want pilots to have handguns because he doesn’t want anyone other than law enforcement to own a handgun. That’s the reason. It’s an incremental method of gutting the Second Amendment and McDonald.

Wethal on February 16, 2012 at 9:27 AM

And yet somehow this guy is supposed to win re-election but alas just how many of the average voter (whatever that is anymore) is informed enough to know these things?

Yakko77 on February 16, 2012 at 9:28 AM

The re-election of Barack Obama is squarely on the heads of Ed Morrissey and the other stupid people who refused to get behind the strongest Republican Candidate this party has had in 50 years!

You wanted revenge for John McCain… so you got it.

Another term for Barack Obama.

Thanks a whole lot you idiots.

You hypocrits who pretend to be conservative. The destruction of the country is the blood on your hands!

petunia on February 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM

I seriously think Mr. Obama needs to have a head examination, and check him into the mental institute stat! Just how f’d-up do you have to be to misplace priorities so much?

Turtle317 on February 16, 2012 at 9:32 AM

How much money is in the budget to fund Fast & Furious – or whatever they are going to call their new gun control program?

batterup on February 16, 2012 at 9:32 AM

I seriously think Mr. Obama needs to have a head examination, and check him into the mental institute stat! Just how f’d-up do you have to be to misplace priorities so much?

Turtle317 on February 16, 2012 at 9:32 AM

He has his statist and union priorities. He wants all children (other than his own, and those of the liberal elite) educated in public schools with unionized teachers teaching from Obama’s coming core curruculum.

Yes, there is a curriculum coming, and it will be tied to funding for schools that got exemptions from No Child left Behind.

Wethal on February 16, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Uh, Ed, I’m sure you have noticed, but just in case you haven’t, Tina is kicking your ass with her Huffpo for Teabaggers posts. Obama is a monster threads just aren’t what your “readers” are looking for right now. You need to search the internet harder for things to link to.

tommyhawk on February 16, 2012 at 9:35 AM

petunia on February 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM</blockquote

A little cheese with that Whine?

dirtseller on February 16, 2012 at 9:36 AM

If we are going to spend money, why are we spending it to subsidize the purchases of vehicles by people averaging $170,000 a year in salary rather than on commercial flight security, which is an actual federal responsibility?

Because people who make more than $170,000 and buy Volts are much more likely than commercial fliers (and D.C. public school kids) to be big contributors to Obama.

That’s why.

AZCoyote on February 16, 2012 at 9:36 AM

I keep saying it and I’ll say it again. I don’t think the guy really wants to be in office for a second term, but if he has to, he will.

I think that everything he’s doing is a win/win for him. He can impose his leftist policies like flinging mud. He gets to see how much sticks. If he leaves office, meh. If anything sticks, good. If he gets to stay in office and fling more mud, okay.

And Congressional Republican leadership goes right along with neutering themselves at any opportunity.

Logus on February 16, 2012 at 9:37 AM

petunia on February 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Check your meds, Ann.

CorporatePiggy on February 16, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Links, please, to research showing that.

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 9:25 AM


Sure

libfreeordie on February 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

And yet complete silence from the GOP on all of this. As usual.

angryed on February 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Links, please, to research showing that.

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Sure

libfreeordie on February 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

An editorial from the LA Times. LOL! That’s your “proof”.

angryed on February 16, 2012 at 9:41 AM

If it were mere incompetence, sometimes the mistakes would be in our favor.

Akzed on February 16, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Links, please, to research showing that.

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Long Overdue Head Start Evaluation Shows No Lasting Benefit for Children – January 14, 2010

After some prodding, yesterday the Obama administration released the long-overdue first grade evaluation of the federal Head Start program. As expected, the results show that the $7 billion per year program provides little benefit to children – and great expense to taxpayers.

Fallon on February 16, 2012 at 9:41 AM

” … the FFDO cuts are something new. The program’s annual operating budget hasn’t increased in years over its current $25 million, which goes to the administrative costs of training and certifying commercial airline pilots to arm themselves in order to protect the cockpit against terrorist attacks. The pilots bear most of the cost of the training; they have to either use vacation time or lose flight pay to spend a week in New Mexico to get their initial certification to carry, and get the routine requalifications on their own time as well.” – Ed

Huh?
That’s “relatively inexpensive”? One can get a CCW permit in an 8 hour class. That, methinks, is silly in itself except for those who aren’t already proficient with firearms. How about taking a test first, and then a brief trip to the firing range to qualify? Add 4 hours to that for rules specific to pilots and that should cost $25 MILLION?
Newp. It’s a waste of money.

As for the parents of D.C. school kids, they voted overwhelmingly for B. Hussein.
Screw ‘em. You reap what you sow DCers, so quit whining.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 16, 2012 at 9:42 AM

For a moment I thought that Ed was going to attack Obama for not restoring Republican demanded cuts in Head Start; by far the most proven successful anti-poverty program in American history.
libfreeordie on February 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

There was a major study in the past year that concluded that Head Start kids do not achieve any lasting benefits from the program. It’s basically just a taxpayer-subsidized babysitting program for pre-schoolers.

But hey, don’t let any pesky facts get in the way of your liberal meme.

AZCoyote on February 16, 2012 at 9:43 AM

petunia on February 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Somebody needs to water the flower!

KOOLAID2 on February 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Forget for a moment that the Volt subsidy actually helps the 1%. The very idea of giving any kind of government subsidy to incentivize the purchase of what is essentially the 21st Century Edsel is insanity at best.

TXUS on February 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Links, please, to research showing that.

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Sure

libfreeordie on February 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

As I expected…

The idiot Collectivist confuses opinion with research. Moron.

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM

petunia on February 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM
Somebody needs to water the flower!

KOOLAID2 on February 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Soooooooo…did anybody drink a lot of fluids this morning?

KOOLAID2 on February 16, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Head Start; by far the most proven successful anti-poverty program in American history.

Head Start is a complete and utter fraud.

Akzed on February 16, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Sparky Pinto (the Volt)…

is a prime example of East German-style central planning.

BIG GOVERNMENT ruins.

Markets innovate, provide choice, use scarce resources efficiently, and RAISE the standard of living for all.

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Head Start; by far the most proven successful anti-poverty program in American history.

libfreeordie on February 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

You could actually be right here, lib. With the history of utter failure of all the anti-poverty programs devised by the left, Head Start might be the most successful. Kind of like calling it the best looking pig in the sty.

dirtseller on February 16, 2012 at 9:50 AM

petunia on February 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Who the hell is the strongest repug candidate in 50 yrs?

Sonosam on February 16, 2012 at 9:55 AM

You could actually be right here, lib. With the history of utter failure of all the anti-poverty programs devised by the left, Head Start might be the most successful. Kind of like calling it the best looking pig in the sty.

dirtseller on February 16, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Yep, if all it did was waste money it would be far superior to public housing and other welfare programs that have done massive damage.

forest on February 16, 2012 at 9:57 AM

For a moment I thought that Ed was going to attack Obama for not restoring Republican demanded cuts in Head Start; by far the most proven successful anti-poverty program in American history. But nope, this was about the voucher agenda. I must remember not to get my hopes up.

libfreeordie on February 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

The Head Start program is alive and well in Obama’s budget, but it’s just changed a little.

Now, whenever anyone in the Obama administration is accused of wrongdoing, they put Eric Holder in charge of the investigation for two weeks. This constitutes your “Head Start.”

JohnTant on February 16, 2012 at 10:03 AM

The idiot Collectivist confuses opinion with research. Moron.

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Even the opinon shows only a 9% increase.

So liberals consider spending billions on a program that generate a miniscule initial increase with no lasting gains to be a success.

How can you have a logical argument with the illogical?

John Deaux on February 16, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Sparky Pinto (the Volt)…

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 9:47 AM

+1000! I’m using that.

For those of you too young to remember the Pinto, just do a word search for “Detroit Moronic Response Arab Oil Embargo Rear Collision Fireball Death Trap.”

TugboatPhil on February 16, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Now, whenever anyone in the Obama administration is accused of wrongdoing, they put Eric Holder in charge of the investigation for two weeks. This constitutes your “Head Start.”

Heh, heh…!!!

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 10:06 AM

From HHS own report on Head Start:

However, the benefits of access to Head Start at age four are largely absent by 1st grade for the program population as a whole.

You can read the entire report at the HHS gov site

TG_68 on February 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM

An editorial from the LA Times. LOL! That’s your “proof”.

angryed on February 16, 2012 at 9:41 AM

As I expected…

The idiot Collectivist confuses opinion with research. Moron.

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM

To be fair, libfreeordie’s link cites multiple studies. No different than Akzed and Fallon linking to (opinion) webpages that cite studies.

However, the studies cited by libfreeordie relate to the direct effects on preschoolers, while the latter links show that there is little or no lasting effect by the time they reach 1st grade.

Here are many more studies showing the positive direct effects on the kids: http://www.nhsa.org/research/research_bites. And here is the recent study showing little lasting effects (and even these effects seem exaggerated due to relaxed statistical significance standards): http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hs/impact_study/reports/impact_study/executive_summary_final.pdf

tneloms on February 16, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Who the hell is the strongest repug candidate in 50 yrs?

Sonosam on February 16, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Exactly. The whole concept of a great republican candidate, especially president, is one we would hope to never hear from once in office. Polar opposite of where the dems are today who want someone to hold them, promise them things and tell how good things will be if they elect him. Rick Perry was correct on this concept.

DanMan on February 16, 2012 at 10:09 AM

I think there should be a law that says if the govt owns stock in a company, they cannot make any laws that affect that industry.

He buys Chevy with our money (still has a portion of it), then he raises Cafe standards and gives out subsidies to people who purchase that car. That is BS!!!

Let’s look at the same situation except we will change the President to a judge who owns stock in a company. Let’s say the judge is presiding over a case that will affect that company. The judge would usually recuse himself even if he was being fair to prevent the appearance of impartiality.

jeffn21 on February 16, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Unsafe at any speed (or voltage)

ted c on February 16, 2012 at 10:12 AM

His other priority: Thinking about apologizing to Pakistan.

Gotta go, have fun.

ProudPalinFan on February 16, 2012 at 10:15 AM

tneloms on February 16, 2012 at 10:09 AM

I was originally going to link to this but the Heritage piece had the headline without sifting through dry data.

How can gains achieved by Head Start children be maintained beyond the first few years of elementary school? There is little research on why cognitive effects of Head Start appear to “fade out” by second grade. Some researchers hypothesize that competition for scarce compensatory resources, coupled with the fact that Head Start children (upon entering elementary school) are no longer the most needy and therefore do not continue to receive compensatory services, results in non-Head Start children “catching up” to Head Start children.

Vouchers. Vouchers to good schools would help poor children more than Head Start. And, we’ve come full circle.

Fallon on February 16, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Poor kids and airlines do not make significant contributions to the 2008-2016 Obama Continuous Campaign Fund.

Simple as that.

coldwarrior on February 16, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Barry has his priorities. One is to ‘keep ‘em on the plantation’, another is to reward his campaign contributors.

GarandFan on February 16, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Forget for a moment that the Volt subsidy actually helps the 1%. The very idea of giving any kind of government subsidy to incentivize the purchase of what is essentially the 21st Century Edsel is insanity at best.

TXUS on February 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM

HEY!
I thought the Edsel was a snappy ride.
If you have a cherried-out one, I’ll take it.
Barret-Jackson here we come! It’s time to go back home to Scottsdale anyhow.
(chuckle)

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 16, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Obama proposes to boost the subsidy to $10,000 per car and projects at least 10,000 units sold in FY2013

Odd, because Chevrolet says they’re going to build 60,000 Volts in 2012. That’s going to be a hell of a lot of invetory sitting around with their batteries decaying.

Trafalgar on February 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Vouchers to good schools would help poor children more than…ANYTHING.

While doing at least two other things…

1. freeing families from a monopoly known for the crappiness of its product and indoctrination of kids

2. not costing anything more

3. allowing the magic of market economics to be expressed

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM

All these subsidies for electric golf carts, cars, etc are subsidies for rich people. I have nothing against rich people, but they should not be getting these subsidies at the expense of poor kids. It was terribly sad when the classmates of little Sasha and Malia were kicked out as the program got cut. I hope Obama felt real good about that. Unions contribute to his campaign–poor children don’t.

juliesa on February 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Ed,

Slight typo:

Interestingly, TSA only got a 3% cut in funding down to $5.1 billion for FY2013 in Obama’s proposal, even though the airline security fee paid by travelers per leg of travel increases from $2.50 to $5 when the budget passes. The air marshal program got a 5% cut, as noted above.

I believe that should be 50%.

On a related topic, how about another billion or two for those infurating whole body scanners? A heck of a lot more embarrassing public show for the buck than some undercover security.

parke on February 16, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Trying to sell 10,000 Volts a year is like pushing water uphill. That was Government Motors’ sales goal last year, and they missed it by 24%.

See http://www.examiner.com/advertising-in-richmond/can-a-preachy-plagiaristic-new-ad-campaign-help-gm-sell-more-electric-lemons

bgoldman on February 16, 2012 at 10:48 AM

When the curtain is pulled back it reveals the ugly truth behind the Obama agenda. As if divisive rhetoric and attack-dog politics by media goons aren’t enough, his goal to bring the nation under the pall of communism by sucking up to the 1%, pandering to the unions and the green lobby and every fascist despot while paying lip service to the 99%, i.e. the little guy. And the idiot republicans couldn’t front a winner in a one-car race because they allow the left to dominate and dictate the rules of engagement, almost by design, it seems. This race is Obama’s to lose.

LizardLips on February 16, 2012 at 11:00 AM

What’s cost-effectiveness got to do with anything? Opanderer still has to grease the palms of the auto unions by funneling as much business or plain old cash to them in any way he can finagle. Has Opompous taken his victory lap yet today for GM’s record-breaking $7.6 billion profit? Never mind that the taxpayers are in for $30 billion that we may never see again.

stukinIL4now on February 16, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Somebody who loves LizardLips (?!) needs to hide the bus schedule…

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 11:07 AM

It seems there is a common thread linking a lot of things Obama does. That common thread is to make this country more vunerable to it’s enemies.

Cut the military
Cut the Raptor
Cut nuclear weapons
No oil pipeline
Cut FFDO
Increase debt (spend money for nothing in return)
Irritate our allies

It’s like he wants something to happen and for us to be totally unprepared for it. Sorta like he wants chaos and instability.

For what purpose, I wonder?

gordo on February 16, 2012 at 11:15 AM

To be fair and “green”, the Volt does runs on the clean energy from burning the paychecks of taxpayers.

kurtzz3 on February 16, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Eric ?? from the Five on Fox says he has run out of battery twice in the Holland Tunnel. A 10K rebate for those who can afford (170K per annum)a Volt brought to you by taxpayers who make 36K. Yeah, that’s fair.

elm on February 16, 2012 at 11:38 AM

One of the reasons that more higher income people aren’t purchasing Volt’s is that most of them didn’t get to stay properous by employing foolish buying habits.

I don’t know many people of any income that are willing to throw away an automobile at the end of 5 years.

Alferd Packer on February 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Obama proposes to boost the subsidy to $10,000 per car and projects at least 10,000 units sold in FY2013, which would be a new cost of $100 million in that year alone just from the taxpayer-funded rebates at the point of sale, far outstripping what was saved by eliminating the DC voucher program and cutting effective airline security.

Square the subsidies for a company that just posted a $7 billion profit to the cancelling of the school voucher program.

Subsidies for big OIL? BAD!

Subsidies for big CAR? Manna!

BobMbx on February 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM

The reason Obama zero’s out this budget item is obvious, Ed. If there is a chance that children will be educated, I mean really educated, then the Democrats will lose a huge voting base in a few years.

dirtseller on February 16, 2012 at 9:20 AM

LOL I’ll second that. The entire liberal base are morons…

stacman on February 16, 2012 at 1:03 PM

I think there should be a law that says if the govt owns stock in a company, they cannot make any laws that affect that industry.

He buys Chevy with our money (still has a portion of it), then he raises Cafe standards and gives out subsidies to people who purchase that car. That is BS!!!

Let’s look at the same situation except we will change the President to a judge who owns stock in a company. Let’s say the judge is presiding over a case that will affect that company. The judge would usually recuse himself even if he was being fair to prevent the appearance of impartiality.

jeffn21 on February 16, 2012 at 10:11 AM

All good points, and let’s add the suspicious delays in investigating Chevy Volt fires, and the odd enthusiasm with which the administration roasted Toyota over the non-existent sudden acceleration ‘problem’.

slickwillie2001 on February 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

The cost of each Federal Air Marshal is around $3,300 per flight. A pair of FAMs cost roughly $6,600 per flight. FFDOs cost roughly $15 per flight

Why does it cost this much for each Federal Air Marshal?

timberline on February 16, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Funny, George W. Bush did everything possible to ‘gut’ the armed pilot program from its inception by rules making it near impossible for airline pilots-most of whom were already trained as military pilots-from having more than 2-3% actually armed. Its another issue where Bush and Obama were actually alike.

love2rumba on February 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Head Start a failure according to government:

http://www.homelandstupidity.us/2010/01/18/government-study-finds-head-start-costly-failure/

Interestingly, Obama once ran the Annenberg fund grant for 100 million in Illinois and spent all the money for no increase in test scores, but a boost for political indoctrination. Here is is doing it again. Like any Liberal, he keeps doing the same things over and over hoping for a different result.

And that is the definition of…..

Bulletchaser on February 16, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Increase debt (spend money for nothing in return)
It’s like he wants something to happen and for us to be totally unprepared for it. Sorta like he wants chaos and instability.

For what purpose, I wonder?

gordo on February 16, 2012 at 11:15 AM

“Money for nothing”? – he got big campaign contributions out of our tax money.
“chaos and instability” – of course – leading to martial law and his socialist revolution – which naturally requires that us peons be unarmed.

dentarthurdent on February 16, 2012 at 3:41 PM

One of the reasons that more higher income people aren’t purchasing Volt’s is that most of them didn’t get to stay properous by employing foolish buying habits.

I don’t know many people of any income that are willing to throw away an automobile at the end of 5 years.

Alferd Packer on February 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I beg to differ – there are plenty of those types – mostly all in Hollywood. They lead the country in latching onto liberal/green boondoggles and throwing their money away. Look at how many have gone totally bankrupt after making million$$ for 1 or 2 movies or TV shows (Nicholas Cage, Randy Quaid, Willie Nelson, Whitney Houston, and on and on……).

dentarthurdent on February 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I don’t get it. Allow passengers their second amendment rights (as well as the crew), and stick a few locked and loaded National Guardsmen and/or Reservists on every flight. Surely there are many in the IRR that would volunteer for this in order to earn their “good year” points towards military retirement.

Why are there so many out there intent on complicating stuff?

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 16, 2012 at 4:10 PM

” . . . and stick a few locked and loaded National Guardsmen and/or Reservists on every flight.”

Oh noes, we couldn’t do that! Don’t you remember the post 9/11 photos of the Guardsmen patrolling the airports, M-16s/M-4s at the ready, well sort of because they clearly had NO MAGAZINE INSERTED IN THE RIFLE!!!!! With all the respect the Socialist Creep ™ has shown the 1st Amendment lately, what makes anyone think he would do anything showing respect for the 2nd?

Lammo on February 16, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Let’s look at this closely, Ed. The vast majority of commercial passenger airline pilots are former U.S. Air Force Officers and Naval and Marine Flight Officers. Having been one of them in my youth, I can attest to the fact that they go fully armed into combat and, accordingly, are appropriately trained by the Armed Forces. They don’t need no stinking “Federal Flight Deck Officer Program.” Perhaps you are under the impression that our pilots in the Armed Forces are unarmed sissies? This is not the case.

John Adams on February 16, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Yah, but John Adams, they shoot themselves in the airplane all the time…

I mean, the stories are legion…

Ragspierre on February 16, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Why does it cost this much for each Federal Air Marshal?

timberline on February 16, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Primarily because we are 1) paying the Air Marshall’s salary and 2) we are paying the airline for a seat on the flight.

The FFDOs are going to be on the flight anyway, and they get paid by the airline!

GWB on February 17, 2012 at 9:46 AM

love2rumba on February 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Actually, I don’t think it was Bush who resisted it. I think it was the Homeland Security folks. Being LEO types, they naturally resist anything that gives the regular Joe the ability to take matters into their own hands. (But, I could be wrong.)

I say expand the FFDO program to include frequent fliers. A little special training (at passenger’s own expense) and special weaponry (splitting cost between passenger and the airline, perhaps) and a bypass of the pat-down/nekid-scan, and you could have a little extra security on every flight!

GWB on February 17, 2012 at 9:53 AM

I bet a grand total of ZERO Republican presidential candidates will mention this.

joekenha on February 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

You would have lost that bet:

“President Obama’s budget statement claims that there is less need for the Federal Flight Desk Officer Program because the government has implemented ‘other physical security measures.’ In other words, now that the government is violating the Fourth Amendment rights of every airline passenger, President Obama no longer feels the need to give even limited respect to the Second Amendment rights of pilots.

“If the President were really interested in reducing unnecessary spending and enhancing our security without sacrificing liberty, he would support eliminating the unconstitutional Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Our security is not enhanced by a bureaucracy that treats grandmothers, children, and U.S. Senators as criminal suspects.

“The President should also join Congressman Paul in supporting the repeal of all federal rules and regulations that prevent airline pilots – many of whom are veterans – from being able to arm themselves. Days after 9/11, Congressman Paul introduced legislation restoring pilots’ Second Amendment rights, and he has championed this cause ever since.

Rae on February 17, 2012 at 6:18 PM