Hey, Who's Up for Another Round of New Taxes on Airline Tickets?
March 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM
Last May we gave you the heads up on a particular grating travel politics story, where the Obama administration was trying to use the budget process to hike taxes on airline tickets.
The justification was that increasing how much people paid for airline tickets would increase the number of people who purchased airline tickets. The reasoning went as follows: right now, people don't purchase airline tickets because it takes too long to get through airports; new taxes could pay for more airport workers, which would decrease the amount of time it takes to get through airports; therefore, more taxes would make more people would purchase airline tickets.
We were not kind. In between words and phrases like "giggle-worthy logic" and "stupid," we pointed out that TSA had once floated the exact same theory, except they were going to raise the fees outside the normal budget process. It was shot down despite being trotted out in 2010 and 2011 and then again later in 2011, because it was moronic.
So of course President Obama's new budget includes new security fees, except set to go to the TSA, to the tune of $5 billion over the next decade. Advocates say it's an awesome idea because... it will buy new stuff that gets travelers through airports faster. Everything old is new again.
Keep in mind that the President and Congress have already hiked up fees in January, with some of the money going toward reducing the deficit. Airline companies were less than pleased, since it seemed like Washington lawmakers were punishing travelers because those lawmakers were unable to get their shit together budget-wise (and the reason it seemed that way is because it was true). Now there are even more hikes being proposed, which are to go directly to TSA. See if you can guess how the airlines are reacting this time.
The idea of responsible governance that would free up money without punishing travelers does not appear to have been an option. Oh well.
[Photo: ABC News / YouTube]