TransGlobalGold
Posts: 233
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:46 pm

BerenErchamion wrote:
TransGlobalGold wrote:
There is a reason the airlines dropped the cities.


There is, but economic efficiency and social value are not the same thing. For example, social welfare programs are a drag on economic efficiency, but we have them because decent people agree that keeping people from dying of starvation is more important than maximizing GDP.


Social value? Welfare programs? Really? Your analogies are absurd.
 
b747400erf
Posts: 2724
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:08 pm

TransGlobalGold wrote:
BerenErchamion wrote:
TransGlobalGold wrote:
There is a reason the airlines dropped the cities.


There is, but economic efficiency and social value are not the same thing. For example, social welfare programs are a drag on economic efficiency, but we have them because decent people agree that keeping people from dying of starvation is more important than maximizing GDP.


Social value? Welfare programs? Really? Your analogies are absurd.


And that also is not truthful. Social welfare programs are a net benefit. One example: SNAP the food stamp program returns about 3.50 for every dollar invested. This is why America is falling apart, people were never given a real education and learned critical thinking skills. They just latch onto talking points that appeal to emotions especially the most basic emotion of greed. I have a strong feeling here that not one person arguing to eliminate the EAS program can point to studies that show it wastes money with no return. It is all about their feelings. A feeling of wanting more money and not wanting to pay tax.
 
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flashmeister
Posts: 2680
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:23 pm

EAS certainly is in need of reform, but I don't support cutting the whole program. Prior posters are right about remote portions of the west, especially parts of Oregon, Nevada, and California -- those communities really do depend on the service without many viable alternatives, so it needs to stick around. It needs to be reformed, though.

What I'd like to see is a program set around four key concepts:

1. Define "essential" by doing road network analysis of transportation options for remote communities. Set some sort of acceptable time and cost buffer (4 hour drive?) to another airport providing service (preferably to more than one hub). Don't consider temporary impacts of construction projects, etc., but do consider seasonal disruptions in road travel (i.e. closed mountain passes, etc).

2. Provide a time-limited subsidy on a matching basis. Require communities or states to pony up a significant part (half? a third?) of the subsidy, and match with federal money on an annual basis. If the network analysis shows that service is only needed for part of the year, then subsidize only that part of the year. Require this of all communities, even those in Alaska and Hawaii.

3. Evaluate routes annually. Focus federal money on those routes that meet the essential criteria and are being used to some extent, but where just the state/local portion of the subsidy isn't enough to make service viable. Where markets mature and the state/local subsidy could make service viable on its own, phase out the federal portion of the subsidy and redirect those dollars.

4. Allow for communities to work with service providers to customize service. Maybe it's not daily. Maybe it's on-demand. Or maybe communities get together to use the money to provide service at one airport while shuttling to another. Something like that. But not every small community needs service from the same template.
 
b747400erf
Posts: 2724
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:27 pm

flashmeister wrote:
EAS certainly is in need of reform, but I don't support cutting the whole program. Prior posters are right about remote portions of the west, especially parts of Oregon, Nevada, and California -- those communities really do depend on the service without many viable alternatives, so it needs to stick around. It needs to be reformed, though.

What I'd like to see is a program set around four key concepts:

1. Define "essential" by doing road network analysis of transportation options for remote communities. Set some sort of acceptable time and cost buffer (4 hour drive?) to another airport providing service (preferably to more than one hub). Don't consider temporary impacts of construction projects, etc., but do consider seasonal disruptions in road travel (i.e. closed mountain passes, etc).

2. Provide a time-limited subsidy on a matching basis. Require communities or states to pony up a significant part (half? a third?) of the subsidy, and match with federal money on an annual basis. If the network analysis shows that service is only needed for part of the year, then subsidize only that part of the year. Require this of all communities, even those in Alaska and Hawaii.

3. Evaluate routes annually. Focus federal money on those routes that meet the essential criteria and are being used to some extent, but where just the state/local portion of the subsidy isn't enough to make service viable. Where markets mature and the state/local subsidy could make service viable on its own, phase out the federal portion of the subsidy and redirect those dollars.

4. Allow for communities to work with service providers to customize service. Maybe it's not daily. Maybe it's on-demand. Or maybe communities get together to use the money to provide service at one airport while shuttling to another. Something like that. But not every small community needs service from the same template.


Wikipedia says this has been done almost every time a new administration is elected. So... nothing new?
 
WaywardMemphian
Posts: 443
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:49 pm

b747400erf wrote:
WaywardMemphian wrote:
diverdave wrote:

Wow, I certainly disagree. Most of the states with a lot of EAS service can easily afford to pay for it.

Alaska could fund its own EAS service at a cost of $23 per resident. That's a mere drop in the bucket of the $1000+ annual dividend paid to state residents.

I looked up the numbers at wikipedia, and it seems that California gets more EAS money than Alaska. CEC alone is over $3 million.

California could fund its own EAS service at well under $1 per resident.

I live in Alabama and we're pretty broke, but there is no need to be funding EAS service in NW Alabama when HSV is not distant.


Harrison with Bentonville and Springfield nearby and Hot Springs with Little Rock rings the same bell.

Pure wasteful pork.


How do you know? I see the word pork repeated over and over like people have their talking points to fall back on, but not one study that looks at who benefits from these programs, and what total economic benefits they give to the smaller cities. This is a whole lot of Fox News "pork" "wasteful spending" "corrupt politicians" a lot of dogs barking but no real facts. Sort of like the conservatives in a nutshell.



I live here, it's pork, period. The only truly useful thing would be some federal funds to bring US 412 up to near interstate standard between Alpena and Huntsville (40miles) and when that happens Harrison is less than an easy 2 hr drive to two decent sized airports. A 412 Bypass of Springdale will go right by XNA and it's started construction. It was even more wasteful when Frontier and AirTran/Southwest were flying out of BKG, a mere 30 minutes away on all 4 lane near interstate road.

Now, if Southern Airways Express uses the EAS assistance to build a decent little tourist run from Branson to Memphis. After a couple of years, the route may stand on it's own like their Destin flights and then be done away with EAS wise. Though, you'd think BKG would be best for that. Same goes for Hot Springs.
 
jbpdx
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:54 pm

Cut the Defense budget if you want to cut fiscal waste and unnecessary spending, about $100 billion worth.
 
mtnwest1979
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:02 pm

ckfred wrote:
It used to make sense for smaller towns to have air service, back when airlines flew point-to-point. Getting on at a small town airport might mean one or two stops before reaching the large airport. But, it meant that several small towns had commercial air service.

Years ago, Hughes Air West only flew north to BOI and south to SLC out of Twin Falls, ID (TWF). Then, RW introduced one-stop service to SFO via Redding, CA. A one-stop flight via Redding was faster than flying to SLC and connecting, and you didn't run the risk of you checked bags being mishandled at SLC.

Now, Twin Falls and Redding, individually, might not have been able to support 1 R/T to SFO, but they did together.

Likewise, Central Airlines (later merged with the original Frontier), used to have a milk run from MKC to DAL. The first stop southbound was Parsons, KS, followed by Bartlesville, OK, then either TUL or OKC, and then another stop or two before DAL. Presumably, a passenger who boarded at Parsons could have been headed to Tulsa, OKC, or the D/FW Metroplex.

Now, with the hub-and-spoke system, more often than not, a plane is flying out to an EAS city from a hub, then turning around and flying back to the hub.


Slight correction. It was through Stockton (SCK), CA that the TWF-SFO flight went thru. We moved from Boise to Lodi,CA (just N of Stockton) and I had a Hughes schedule from Feb 1979 with TWF nonstop. Unfortunately, Hughes had pulled out of SCK prior to our arrival in June 1979. I have a few old Hughes scheds that also had the BOI-Idaho Falls-Pocatello-SCK-SFO thru flight. That'd been a fun trip to do lol.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
 
NameOmitted
Posts: 174
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:18 pm

flashmeister wrote:
EAS certainly is in need of reform, but I don't support cutting the whole program. Prior posters are right about remote portions of the west, especially parts of Oregon, Nevada, and California -- those communities really do depend on the service without many viable alternatives, so it needs to stick around. It needs to be reformed, though.

What I'd like to see is a program set around four key concepts:

1. Define "essential" by doing road network analysis of transportation options for remote communities. ...

2. Provide a time-limited subsidy on a matching basis. ...

3. Evaluate routes annually. ...

4. Allow for communities to work with service providers to customize service....


I like where you are going, but you are still predicating this on the idea that the essential service needs to be air. I would like us to define what the end result is that we want, and go backwards from there. We talk about how many hours drive it is as if we are assuming that everyone has the ability to MAKE that drive.

Get rid of the idea that this is an air service program. Make it a transportation program with the goal being connectivity. If a company can set up a bus/truck service that provides needed access, let them bid against an airline. Part of the bidding package could well be the transfer of goods or people at airports. Grandma needs to get somewhere and can't handle her bags or rent a car? Fine, the bags are checked through to her final destination, transferred to the bus by company baggage handlers, and she is brought to the terminal at her final destination where she gets her bags.

If there are no roads available, then airlines have an obvious advantage in the bidding process.
 
Airnerd
Posts: 271
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:57 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:45 pm

I have to agree with the general sentiment here that the EAS program is a mess. While I'm not sure I support its complete elimination, I do think many of the current airports that receive subsidies through the program shouldn't, and I'm open to the idea that there may be other airports not currently in the program that could really use some assistance to close the gap on commercial service viability. As many have said, airports in the program that are less than 90 minutes on good roads to established airports with regular commercial service really shouldn't be in this program. There are many. Quite a few are well under 60 minutes driving from nearby airports and receive subsidies of many $100s per passenger. It's just waste. On top of that, the program is closed to new participant communities, so it's completely unfair as well as wasteful.

Crescent City (CEC) specifically is a case where maybe the program isn't such a terrible idea. It's 1h29m (per Google Maps) to ACV on a notoriously unreliable road that is often closed by landslides. 2h18m to MFR on a slightly better, but still vulnerable highway. It also serves a pretty large rural area including Brookings, OR. But still, it's on the cusp of real need to my mind, and I would tend to agree that there should be limits on the amount of subsidy per passenger the program will cover.

I would suggest as a way to wean communities off the service it could make a lot of sense to offer a subsidy for ground shuttle service timed to connect to flights (or banks of flights) at the closest airports with commercial service. I have to assume that type of service could be offered for much less on a per passenger basis.
 
Airnerd
Posts: 271
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:51 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
flashmeister wrote:
EAS certainly is in need of reform, but I don't support cutting the whole program. Prior posters are right about remote portions of the west, especially parts of Oregon, Nevada, and California -- those communities really do depend on the service without many viable alternatives, so it needs to stick around. It needs to be reformed, though.

What I'd like to see is a program set around four key concepts:

1. Define "essential" by doing road network analysis of transportation options for remote communities. ...

2. Provide a time-limited subsidy on a matching basis. ...

3. Evaluate routes annually. ...

4. Allow for communities to work with service providers to customize service....


I like where you are going, but you are still predicating this on the idea that the essential service needs to be air. I would like us to define what the end result is that we want, and go backwards from there. We talk about how many hours drive it is as if we are assuming that everyone has the ability to MAKE that drive.

Get rid of the idea that this is an air service program. Make it a transportation program with the goal being connectivity. If a company can set up a bus/truck service that provides needed access, let them bid against an airline. Part of the bidding package could well be the transfer of goods or people at airports. Grandma needs to get somewhere and can't handle her bags or rent a car? Fine, the bags are checked through to her final destination, transferred to the bus by company baggage handlers, and she is brought to the terminal at her final destination where she gets her bags.

If there are no roads available, then airlines have an obvious advantage in the bidding process.


Exactly. If the drive from city to airport is under 2 hours, a professionally-run shuttle service should be pretty competitive.
 
TransGlobalGold
Posts: 233
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:08 pm

b747400erf wrote:
TransGlobalGold wrote:
BerenErchamion wrote:

There is, but economic efficiency and social value are not the same thing. For example, social welfare programs are a drag on economic efficiency, but we have them because decent people agree that keeping people from dying of starvation is more important than maximizing GDP.


Social value? Welfare programs? Really? Your analogies are absurd.


And that also is not truthful. Social welfare programs are a net benefit. One example: SNAP the food stamp program returns about 3.50 for every dollar invested. This is why America is falling apart, people were never given a real education and learned critical thinking skills. They just latch onto talking points that appeal to emotions especially the most basic emotion of greed. I have a strong feeling here that not one person arguing to eliminate the EAS program can point to studies that show it wastes money with no return. It is all about their feelings. A feeling of wanting more money and not wanting to pay tax.


In the example I pointed out earlier, I mentioned Jackson, TN (MKL). It is 80 miles from MEM. I know when the EAS was coming into BNA, the local paper here said the loads were 2-4 per day. It's been a while so I don't recall who flew it or what equipment they used. Even if it was a 9-seater, a 22% load factor cannot be making money. My thing is simple. Why should the 65,000 people in that town subsidize the needs of 4 people a day? The last time I was there it hasn't changed appreciably over the last decade. If someone has some hard numbers I'd Love to see them. Until then, I still say the vast majority of EAS services are probably loss makers.
 
rrapynot
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:27 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:24 pm

DfwRevolution wrote:
Wingtips56 wrote:
Eliminating EAS would cut off extreme Northwestern California/Southwestern Oregon, if CEC loses it's service. We're 300 miles or so from PDX and 350 miles north of SFO. Among other issues, people from here have to travel for medical care, including chemo. 8 hours on the highway is too much for people sick after chemo. Add to that US Highway 101 is falling into the ocean just south of town (the southbound lane fell off last Monday, leaving us with 18 feet width of pavement), with additional failures south and also north above Brookings OR. And we're down to a single lane going northeast.
Air service is an important need in places like this, but the cost and risk is high for any airline. At some point a nation's citizenry need support. EAS is such a tiny part of government spending that it should not be such a political football.
But nobody is getting rich off serving small communities, so there is no impetus for the billionaires to give a rats ass.


Who needs to be a millionaire or billionaire to give a rats ass about your sob story?

The consequence of living in a rural community is that you will lack close proximity to some services. That's the cost you pay to enjoy the benefits of rural living. You're asking us to financially subsidize your lifestyle choice so you can have your cake and eat it, too. Nah 'ah.


It works both ways. Federal funds pay for 6 lane freeways, bridges and subway systems in big cities. Why should rural people have to pay for that?
 
dk1967
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:56 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:28 pm

Why do remote areas get a pass? If it's not self sustaining commercially, shouldn't the burden of paying for the service be the responsibility of those communities themselves?
 
dk1967
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:56 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:31 pm

As for highways, let's agree that states should pay for them, too.
 
NameOmitted
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:59 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:47 pm

dk1967 wrote:
Why do remote areas get a pass? If it's not self sustaining commercially, shouldn't the burden of paying for the service be the responsibility of those communities themselves?


Well... the history of our country would indicate otherwise. One of the primary weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation was that they provided no incentive for Eastern states to build roads into the West. The Constitution that replaced those articles gave Congress the explicit power to build post roads, which it very quickly did, building the National Road between the Potomac and Ohio rivers.

Not only was this a matter of national importance, but the inability of the Articles of Confederation to get the job done was a boon to the Federalists. It was not expected that the towns at the end of the road would pay for it, but the road gave the United States effective control over lands west of the Applications it otherwise would not have had.

Railroads are the same. They were built with significant land grants, without which they could not have been economically viable (with the exception of the Great Northern, the last railroad built, and therefore the only one built into developed lands).

Essential transportation services (again, I don't think it needs to be air) provides economic viability to farmlands fisheries and natural resources which are not in themselves economically viable to the community at the end, but can be an asset to the country as a whole.
 
dk1967
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:56 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:12 pm

You are not saying that the founding fathers believed in communal efforts, are you? Weren't they all believers that the a lone fur trader plying the Kennebec in a hand-hewn canoe was their goal for all eternity when they agreed to all hang together?

Please tell me that the EAS is a wasteful use of single mothers' taxes that could better be spent on two F-35s?
 
NameOmitted
Posts: 174
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:44 pm

dk1967 wrote:
You are not saying that the founding fathers believed in communal efforts, are you? Weren't they all believers that the a lone fur trader plying the Kennebec in a hand-hewn canoe was their goal for all eternity when they agreed to all hang together?

Please tell me that the EAS is a wasteful use of single mothers' taxes that could better be spent on two F-35s?


I am saying that much of the strength of our country is based on government at a federal level subsidizing access to transportation for areas that are not economically sustainable on their own, but that provide access to resources that are a net benefit to the country as a whole.

I don't understand your last sentence. Are you suggesting I think that the F-35 is of greater value to our country than the EAS? I do not. I do, however, think that the EAS system could be better managed if it were not assumed that access had to be by air. We spend half a million dollars a year subsidizing the route from Akutan to Dutch Harbor. It is 50 miles of open ocean water between the two places, it's where the Bering Sea meets the Pacific. That being said, it would be very interesting to know if the service could be provided by a ferry modeled after a self-righting lifeboat better than a 9 seat Piper Navajo.
 
diverdave
Posts: 536
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:58 pm

b747400erf wrote:
diverdave wrote:

Wow, I certainly disagree. Most of the states with a lot of EAS service can easily afford to pay for it.

Alaska could fund its own EAS service at a cost of $23 per resident. That's a mere drop in the bucket of the $1000+ annual dividend paid to state residents.

I looked up the numbers at wikipedia, and it seems that California gets more EAS money than Alaska. CEC alone is over $3 million.

California could fund its own EAS service at well under $1 per resident.
:zzz:
I live in Alabama and we're pretty broke, but there is no need to be funding EAS service in NW Alabama when HSV is not distant.


Alaska has a population less than a medium sized California city. How ridiculous to complain that CA gets more in funding.


There is no complaint in my post, merely an observation.

You could also observe that the population in CA that lives more than two hours from a non-EAS airport is close to nil, and the population in CA that does not have access to a highway system is nil. The situation in Alaska is far different.

EAS is a need-based program, and there isn't much of a case that CA has a greater need than AK.

Cheers,
David
 
BerenErchamion
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 12:44 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:16 am

dk1967 wrote:
Why do remote areas get a pass? If it's not self sustaining commercially, shouldn't the burden of paying for the service be the responsibility of those communities themselves?


I'm sorry that the idea of being a part of a society, where we're all in this together, is something you find so objectionable. Maybe you'd feel more at home 3 million years ago, rather than in the present? Unfortunately, I don't think anyone's invented a time machine yet.
Last edited by BerenErchamion on Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Union YES!
 
BerenErchamion
Posts: 80
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:16 am

dk1967 wrote:
As for highways, let's agree that states should pay for them, too.


So states with large areas to span but low populations are out of luck?

The American federal system is a disaster. It was a bad idea from the start, and it's only gotten worse since. We should forget about it.
Union YES!
 
b6sea
Posts: 561
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 5:44 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:42 am

Wow... Where to start?

Alaska:

Alaska gets EAS funding and needs EAS funding because the distances between places are very large and the populations are very small and concentrated in remote villages and towns. Thus, building out a paved road network (which the federal government heavily subsidizes) would take years upon years (you can't build in winter, there's no sun and everything's frozen), the wear and tear on the roads would be much more severe than it is in the rest of the country due to seasonal temperature differentials, the roads might be buried in snow for half of the year and could not be maintained adequately in rural areas, the discontinuous permafrost makes it so that roads sink after they are built (the ground is frozen year round, when you build on it, it can thaw the ground causing the road to sink), and the amount of traffic between places is low enough that the roads don't make sense economically. This is why Alaska is different than literally any other place in the country and why EAS funding makes sense for so many communities there (more than any other kind of transportation funding).

EAS funding:

As far as losing EAS funding, I think the states would backfill a lot of it. In some cases that might even result in better outcomes (I'm thinking about Amtrak Cascades, for example) as state governments are better able to work with local officials (who are also state employees) to create conditions for the air service to be successful.

I don't think it's smart to cut the program entirely or to leave it with just Alaska, but even if that did end up happening I'm fairly certain you would see some states subsidize air routes. I think the only reason they don't currently do that is because they know the federal government will put up the cash through EAS. That said, I think it would be a harder sell to get a state government to pay for a flight to a hub in another state, and getting access to feed from the other flights at a hub airport seems like the best way to make air service to smaller destinations successful and ultimately sustainable, so that might create some issues.

The other reality is that the EAS program is not all that expensive. When you consider that the average cost to build a mile of 2-lane undivided road is $2-3million +, spending around that to subsidize air service doesn't seem as crazy. However, I think the people who would drive vs. fly are different demographics and that there are definitely investors, businesses, tourists, etc who would not go somewhere unless there was air service fairly nearby of for whom having air service is an asset when considering an investment decision, place to start a business, place to take a job, place to visit, etc, so air service can be a major asset to smaller communities. As to whether or not those communities, their states, or the federal government can or should pay for that, I think the answer depends on the community and their goals.
 
jeffrey1970
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Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:13 am

It would be a huge deal where I live since there are at least two airports in this area that are EAS airports. It would certainly effect me since I have no car, so it is not easy to get to a major airport. I am sure if the airlines, and the communities that depend on EAS make a nice contribution to the GOP the EAS wont be cut. Politicians are always for sale.
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
 
ikramerica
Posts: 14070
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:17 am

Trump puts everything on the table and then the other side shows what is most important to them an negotiations go from there.

It's sort of like "reapply for your job" or "convince me why what you do is necessary and how it can be done better."

The definition of essential needs to be refined to not include "because the ranking member of xyz committee has a ranch there."
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
f9pdmag
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:52 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:44 am

I was a pilot for EAS routes in NV and UT. Although I benefited highly by the government subsidized flying, I must agree that it is a total complete waste of money. I cannot tell you how many flights I flew completely empty (the flight had to be flown for the company to get the $$). Many of the EAS routes are still subsidized just to get congress men and women home at tax payer expense. All the millionaires in congress can afford to charter there way home.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 1277
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:51 am

f9pdmag wrote:
All the millionaires in congress can afford to charter there way home.


They don't have to be able to afford to charter their way between home and Washington. You pay for that travel.
 
BobPatterson
Posts: 1106
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:18 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:06 am

jeffrey1970 wrote:
It would be a huge deal where I live since there are at least two airports in this area that are EAS airports. It would certainly effect me since I have no car, so it is not easy to get to a major airport. I am sure if the airlines, and the communities that depend on EAS make a nice contribution to the GOP the EAS wont be cut. Politicians are always for sale.


Would you mind revealing:

1. The town/city from which you use EAS?

2. How many times per year do you use the service.

3. What do passenger loads look like to you.

4. How much do you pay in out-of-pocket fare to get to ____________________?

5. How do you manage to get to the airport and back home?

Thanks.
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
b747400erf
Posts: 2724
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:33 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:22 am

this topic like so much political boils down to this

"here is my single personal experience or feelings not backed up by facts" and when asked for citations to back up their claims they ignore it.

Great way to start a morning at least it is Friday!
 
BobPatterson
Posts: 1106
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:18 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:33 am

b747400erf wrote:
One example: SNAP the food stamp program returns about 3.50 for every dollar invested.


If this is true then we should extend the food stamp program to every family in America and we will all get rich. Where do I sign up?

You might post links to studies, available on-line, that demonstrate this 1:3.5 benefit.

Thanks.

P.S.: I support the idea of food stamps to provide nutrition to needy/hungry people (especially kids).

I do not support the idea of providing them with air transportation as a routinely available benefit.
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
b747400erf
Posts: 2724
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:33 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:12 am

BobPatterson wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
One example: SNAP the food stamp program returns about 3.50 for every dollar invested.


If this is true then we should extend the food stamp program to every family in America and we will all get rich. Where do I sign up?

You might post links to studies, available on-line, that demonstrate this 1:3.5 benefit.

Thanks.

P.S.: I support the idea of food stamps to provide nutrition to needy/hungry people (especially kids).

I do not support the idea of providing them with air transportation as a routinely available benefit.


Demanding links to studies (that you can easily find if you searched yourself) after repeatedly ignoring my requests to back up your claims with studies (that I know do not exist). I could write a funnier script but I'll stop wasting my time with you from now on. You are another parody account here to preach your political agenda you do not care about airplanes, the signature made that obvious from day 1.
 
StuckinCMHland
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:59 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:20 am

jbpdx wrote:
Cut the Defense budget if you want to cut fiscal waste and unnecessary spending, about $100 billion worth.


The largest part of the defense budget is pay and benefits for those who serve and maintenance of current assets. Where would you like to start cutting?
 
jeffrey1970
Posts: 1290
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2001 1:41 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:34 am

BobPatterson wrote:
jeffrey1970 wrote:
It would be a huge deal where I live since there are at least two airports in this area that are EAS airports. It would certainly effect me since I have no car, so it is not easy to get to a major airport. I am sure if the airlines, and the communities that depend on EAS make a nice contribution to the GOP the EAS wont be cut. Politicians are always for sale.


Would you mind revealing:

1. The town/city from which you use EAS?

2. How many times per year do you use the service. I just moved here so I have not had the chance.

3. What do passenger loads look like to you. Idk since the airline that flies out is a privately owned company and wont reveal that info.

4. How much do you pay in out-of-pocket fare to get to ___enough_________________?

5. How do you manage to get to the airport and back home? a friend.

Thanks.
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
 
StuckinCMHland
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:59 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:45 am

b747400erf wrote:
BobPatterson wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
One example: SNAP the food stamp program returns about 3.50 for every dollar invested.


If this is true then we should extend the food stamp program to every family in America and we will all get rich. Where do I sign up?

You might post links to studies, available on-line, that demonstrate this 1:3.5 benefit.

Thanks.

P.S.: I support the idea of food stamps to provide nutrition to needy/hungry people (especially kids).

I do not support the idea of providing them with air transportation as a routinely available benefit.


Demanding links to studies (that you can easily find if you searched yourself) after repeatedly ignoring my requests to back up your claims with studies (that I know do not exist). I could write a funnier script but I'll stop wasting my time with you from now on. You are another parody account here to preach your political agenda you do not care about airplanes, the signature made that obvious from day 1.



Excuse me, but:


An increase of $1 billion in SNAP expenditures is estimated to increase economic activity (GDP) by $1.79 billion. In other words, every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates as much as $9 of economic activity.
The jobs impact estimates from the Food Assistance National Input-Output Multiplier (FANIOM) range from the creation of 9,000 to 18,000 full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs plus self-employment resulting from a $1-billion increase in SNAP benefits. The jobs impact estimate of 9,000 FTE jobs plus self-employment, or 10,000 full-time plus part-time jobs plus self-employment, is the preferred estimate.
Although SNAP benefits are spent exclusively on food, the estimated impact of SNAP benefits on agriculture assumes that food expenditures increase by 26 percent of the increase in SNAP benefits, with SNAP recipients shifting cash expenditures from food to nonfood purchases.
A $1-billion increase in SNAP benefits with the type III multiplier and import adjustment generates $92.6 million of agricultural production, $32.3 million of agricultural GDP or value added, and close to 1,000 agricultural jobs (FTE-jobs plus self-employment). The increase in agricultural GDP is distributed between livestock (38 percent) and crop production (62 percent). The 1,000 agricultural jobs impact from a type III multiplier is a high end estimate, while the jobs impact estimate of 765 FTE-jobs plus self-employed from a type I multiplier is a more conservative estimate.
Source: [url]https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/economic-linkages/[/ur]

$5 generating $9 is not is 1:3.5 sir. Nor do we know if that is really the case, since multipliers are a tool that is controversial to say the least.

Multipliers are very tricky little items to base a political debate on, and usually they just show your political biases. Yours show quite clearly. Everybody can make multipliers to show that if the government spends X dollars on their pet programs it will bring X+whatever more to the economy. If that's the case, let's just give the government all the money and they can multiply the benefits to all off us by a fantastic amount! I mean such thinking works real well in places like Venezuela, doesn't it? If we gave that much spending to NASA who knows how much better life could be?

The point of the matter is that the US, like all mixed economies, has a big problem, a huge deficit and IOU's owed because of out of control social spending in the US it is SSI/Medicare/Medicaid. Until that is fixed there is trouble coming. EAS is a tiny sliver of the budget, but to many people in the current administration it is something that could be cut. Obviously you do not want to see any cuts in government except for programs you don't like, and the power and authority the current president and his party has. So please show some respect to other side in this political debate, and the current president who is the legitimately elected President of the US, just like his predecessor was and quit with the knee jerk reactions to people who disagree with you.

Thank you for reading. .
 
AEROFAN
Posts: 1514
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:47 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:05 pm

TransGlobalGold wrote:
IMO, it's a huge waste. Keep Alaska routes for obvious reasons, but if people have to drive 2-3 hours to get to an airport, it's not coming out of taxpayers pockets. Especially when many, if not all of the EAS routes would not exist without subsidies. Just because smaller airports had service 40-50 years ago doesn't mean they should have it now.There is a reason the airlines dropped the cities.


The proposed budget also have massive cuts for Amtrak which provides an alternative to airlines to these communities. With no train service and no air service, pray tell, what are these communities to do?
 
BobPatterson
Posts: 1106
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:18 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:20 pm

b747400erf wrote:
BobPatterson wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
One example: SNAP the food stamp program returns about 3.50 for every dollar invested.


If this is true then we should extend the food stamp program to every family in America and we will all get rich. Where do I sign up?

You might post links to studies, available on-line, that demonstrate this 1:3.5 benefit.

Thanks.

P.S.: I support the idea of food stamps to provide nutrition to needy/hungry people (especially kids).

I do not support the idea of providing them with air transportation as a routinely available benefit.


Demanding links to studies (that you can easily find if you searched yourself) after repeatedly ignoring my requests to back up your claims with studies (that I know do not exist). I could write a funnier script but I'll stop wasting my time with you from now on. You are another parody account here to preach your political agenda you do not care about airplanes, the signature made that obvious from day 1.


Please inform me, as well as everyone else who reads this thread, where and when I was guilty of ..... "after repeatedly ignoring my requests to back up your claims with studies".

I am not aware that you have ever asked me for evidence of anything. However, if such a request has previously escaped my notice, I will be happy to accommodate you.

Thanks.
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
NameOmitted
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:59 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:22 pm

StuckinCMHland wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
Multipliers are very tricky little items to base a political debate on, and usually they just show your political biases. Yours show quite clearly. Everybody can make multipliers to show that if the government spends X dollars on their pet programs it will bring X+whatever more to the economy. If that's the case, let's just give the government all the money and they can multiply the benefits to all off us by a fantastic amount! I mean such thinking works real well in places like Venezuela, doesn't it? If we gave that much spending to NASA who knows how much better life could be?

The point of the matter is that the US, like all mixed economies, has a big problem, a huge deficit and IOU's owed because of out of control social spending in the US it is SSI/Medicare/Medicaid. Until that is fixed there is trouble coming. EAS is a tiny sliver of the budget, but to many people in the current administration it is something that could be cut. Obviously you do not want to see any cuts in government except for programs you don't like, and the power and authority the current president and his party has. So please show some respect to other side in this political debate, and the current president who is the legitimately elected President of the US, just like his predecessor was and quit with the knee jerk reactions to people who disagree with you.


The argument about any sort of return on investment talks about the return on the money invested. When someone says that program a provides x amount of dollars to the economy for every y spent. The argument does not hold that that money will scale. If we start giving food stamps to people who are well off enough that the food stamps won't change their behavior, there would be no return on the money spent. Similarly, there would be no economic benefit to subsidizing a flight from LAX to SEA. No one is making the argument that it would, and assuming anyone is talking about random expansion of the program is a red herring.

Now, as for the big problem with IOUs, I would respectfully disagree. We don't have a problem with IOUs, we have a problem with how that money is spent. Right now, the federal government can borrow at 2.6%. The federal government has something like $200 trillion in assets, and about $20 trillion in debts. Having a debt to equity ratio of 0.1 puts us nowhere near Venezuela. In fact, any major capital intensive corporation that had a debt to equity ratio of 0.1, 50 year old crumbling infrastructure and no comprehensive plan in place to repair that infustructure wold be facing a rather uncomfortable shareholder meeting followed by new management.
 
BobPatterson
Posts: 1106
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:18 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:40 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
The federal government has something like $200 trillion in assets, and about $20 trillion in debts.


Could you give us a short list of big ticket item assets that justify USA Federal debt?

Would something like oil in the Arctic be among those assets? Military equipment? National Parks and wildlife refuges?
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
NameOmitted
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:59 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:55 pm

BobPatterson wrote:
NameOmitted wrote:
The federal government has something like $200 trillion in assets, and about $20 trillion in debts.


Could you give us a short list of big ticket item assets that justify USA Federal debt?

Would something like oil in the Arctic be among those assets? Military equipment? National Parks and wildlife refuges?


Yes, among others such as offshore drilling or the collection of day use fees. However, I don't wish to sidetrack this conversation by discussing individual assets, so I'll bypass that entirely and go straight for the big one.

On top of the $200 trillion in assets the federal government has, it also holds taxing authority on a quarter of the world's economy. Furthermore, it holds an effective monopoly on that asset, as the federal government is in complete control over how and if it shares that asset with state and local governments.

That being said, I give you the last word, and retreat so we can go back to discussion of the Essential Air Service (or as I would like it to become, the Essential Transportation Service).
Last edited by NameOmitted on Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 1277
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:00 pm

jeffrey1970 wrote:
It would certainly effect me since I have no car, so it is not easy to get to a major airport.


I don't see how this is relevant. I own 3 cars. If I decide to sell them and live without any cars are other taxpayers obligated to provide me with transportation?
 
BerenErchamion
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 12:44 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:54 pm

IPFreely wrote:
jeffrey1970 wrote:
It would certainly effect me since I have no car, so it is not easy to get to a major airport.


I don't see how this is relevant. I own 3 cars. If I decide to sell them and live without any cars are other taxpayers obligated to provide me with transportation?


Yes. We're a society. We're all in this together.
Union YES!
 
dopplerd
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:30 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:55 pm

StrandedAtMKG wrote:
I don't know that I'm necessarily in favor of eliminating the program altogether, but when an airport like the one in my hometown (MKG), 45 minutes from GRR, gets an EAS subsidy there's something wrong with the selection criteria. Scale it back and fix the selection criteria, and go from there.


MKG was my home airport (20 mins drive) growing up as well. When I lived there I'd flow out of Mkg exactly once and GRR (60 mins drive) 15+ times. The price and ability to fly direct or with fewer connections always made the drive worth it to GRR.

Using MKG as an example, the annual subsidy is $1.4M for about 30,000 passengers or $46/person. There are other airports that are much worse. Fort Dodge, IA which is a 2 hour drive to Sioux City gets $1.8M for 6,000 passengers. That's $300 per passenger on top of what they paid for a ticket.

I feel that EAS is a necessary and beneficial thing but is just really poorly run, likely with heavy political influence similar to BRAC. In many cases a bus or van shuttle service timed with a departure /arrival from one airport could eliminate the need for 2 or 3 EAS fields. This would better serve many more locations (it's easy for a bus to stop at 3 or 4 places along its trip, a plane not so much), grow efficiencies through economies of scale at one airport instead of spreading out resources, and cost less.
 
WaywardMemphian
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:05 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:15 pm

BobPatterson wrote:
b747400erf wrote:
One example: SNAP the food stamp program returns about 3.50 for every dollar invested.


If this is true then we should extend the food stamp program to every family in America and we will all get rich. Where do I sign up?

You might post links to studies, available on-line, that demonstrate this 1:3.5 benefit.

Thanks.

P.S.: I support the idea of food stamps to provide nutrition to needy/hungry people (especially kids).

I do not support the idea of providing them with air transportation as a routinely available benefit.



Do you consider soft drinks, twinkies, candy bars, sugary cereal, ice cream, doritos, energy drinks like Red Bull nutricious? Because billions are spent on those items via SNAP. 20oz bottle of Coke at 2 bucks? Yep, covered. You wonder why our children, particularly the poorer ones are unhealty, obese, and have increasing rates of childhood diabetes and other medical maladies. Considering I grew up in in a grocery store ran by my family, it know the complete in and outs of what's wrong with SNAP and how it's as much or more so corporate welfare than social.
 
BobPatterson
Posts: 1106
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:18 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:35 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
BobPatterson wrote:
NameOmitted wrote:
The federal government has something like $200 trillion in assets, and about $20 trillion in debts.


Could you give us a short list of big ticket item assets that justify USA Federal debt?

Would something like oil in the Arctic be among those assets? Military equipment? National Parks and wildlife refuges?


Yes, among others such as offshore drilling or the collection of day use fees. However, I don't wish to sidetrack this conversation by discussing individual assets, so I'll bypass that entirely and go straight for the big one.

On top of the $200 trillion in assets the federal government has, it also holds taxing authority on a quarter of the world's economy. Furthermore, it holds an effective monopoly on that asset, as the federal government is in complete control over how and if it shares that asset with state and local governments.

That being said, I give you the last word, and retreat so we can go back to discussion of the Essential Air Service (or as I would like it to become, the Essential Transportation Service).


Thank you. That's very kind and generous of you.

Discussing the EAS or Essential Transportation Service without acknowledging that we cannot, at present, afford such money-losing propositions because they yearly add to our indebtedness is, IMHO, sheer folly.

This year we will pay approximately $430 Billions in INTEREST on the national debt. https://treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports ... xpense.htm

And the country is in an uproar because the President wants to cut funding of some $50 Billion from various worthy agencies and hand it over to the "Defense Agencies" for wasteful projects.

If we really had $200 Trillion in assets, we could sell about 10% of them and get totally out of debt. Congress could then have another $430 billion with which to provide Essential Transportation Services, or at least balance the budget.

But they can't do that because the supposed $200 Trillion in assets is a fiction. It is putting a price on things which can never be sold to convert into cash.

The Treasury balance sheet for 2015 list $3.2 Trillion in assets. https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsrepor ... t_2015.pdf

The pipe dream for claiming more states:

"Assets included on the balance sheets are resources of the Government that remain available to meet future needs. The most significant assets that are reported on the balance sheets are loans receivable, net; property, plant, and equipment (PP&E), net; inventories and related property, net; and cash and other monetary assets. There are, however, other significant resources available to the Government that extend beyond the assets presented in these balance sheets. Those resources include Stewardship Land and Heritage Assets in addition to the Government’s sovereign powers to tax and set monetary policy." [emphasis mine]

The EAS program costs "only" a couple hundred million per year. Peanuts. But if we cannot curb our appetite for peanuts, we will never get around to curbing it for champagne and filet mignon.

We have to start somewhere.

Thanks, and have a nice day.
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
NameOmitted
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:59 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:36 pm

IPFreely wrote:
jeffrey1970 wrote:
It would certainly effect me since I have no car, so it is not easy to get to a major airport.


I don't see how this is relevant. I own 3 cars. If I decide to sell them and live without any cars are other taxpayers obligated to provide me with transportation?


So, using your argument, if I need go somewhere I should be obliged to pay for and maintain a car? How is that not a tax?

All kidding aside, it is a benefit to our economy as a whole to have a mobile labor market. When something of abundance can get to a place where it is scarce, we see economic efficiency, and that includes the labor market. This is most obvious on a local level where a city bus system can be a dramatic asset to a city's economy as it allows people who would otherwise be unproductive to get to work.

The same principal holds on a national economy. If we can put unused labor to work in areas of the country that need labor, we are not necessarily obligated to do so, but it is still a good thing to do. It promotes an efficient economy, and promotes the economic strengths of our country.

Like all good things, a bad implantation will destroy a good idea. This gets us to this thread.
 
BobPatterson
Posts: 1106
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:18 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:38 pm

Duplicate could be deleted
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
NameOmitted
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:59 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:41 pm

BobPatterson wrote:
...


At the risk of violating my technical promise to give you the last word on the subject, I would like to say that I appreciate someone who states his case so clearly and resonantly.
 
TransGlobalGold
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:40 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:12 pm

AEROFAN wrote:
TransGlobalGold wrote:
IMO, it's a huge waste. Keep Alaska routes for obvious reasons, but if people have to drive 2-3 hours to get to an airport, it's not coming out of taxpayers pockets. Especially when many, if not all of the EAS routes would not exist without subsidies. Just because smaller airports had service 40-50 years ago doesn't mean they should have it now.There is a reason the airlines dropped the cities.


The proposed budget also have massive cuts for Amtrak which provides an alternative to airlines to these communities. With no train service and no air service, pray tell, what are these communities to do?


Given there's not really much of Amtrak remaining, not sure. I doubt small cities even have stops on Amtrak. Someone else mentioned on this thread I agree with. If the EAS communities feel their economy relies on airline service (which outside of Alaska I say is very few), then let cities and states provide the subsidies. Your taxes will be going up under the new administration despite what they say, so it's just throwing more money at something that is unsustainable.
 
strfyr51
Posts: 2285
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:40 pm

gdg9 wrote:
Long overdue - barring many places in Alaska I suppose, EAS is a total waste of money. If people choose to live in remote, rural areas, that is their right, but not up to me or others to subsidize their travel to a large airport. Get in the car and drive.

That's pretty harsh isn't it?? Not everybody can live in town...
 
flyingcat
Posts: 423
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 10:33 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:04 pm

TransGlobalGold wrote:
Given there's not really much of Amtrak remaining, not sure. I doubt small cities even have stops on Amtrak.


Actually Amtrak has the inverse problem compared to EAS. Many of the short haul regional trains have enough local support such as Chicago, Boston and others. The issue is the long haul train service which has massive cosst such as the Sunset Limited FL-CA, California Zephyr Chicago-SFO

Look at the routes they go straight through conservative regions but those politicians do not want the service to cease. These routes operate at a large loss which are subsidized by high demand regional service. The times are too long, the service is rarely on time and the price is rarely competitive with alternatives.
 
airzona11
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:44 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:12 pm

This is a lively discussion, if the cities and towns that need the "Essential" Air Service, then no doubt they can prove they need it. We should always be putting all government tax payer funded programs under these reviews. It is good for everyone.

This wont be an all or nothing outcome. Hopefully routes that are wasteful and not necessary will be cut, and those where there is a positive economic impact will be kept.

To the above points about food stamp programs etc, if they were alchemy taking money and turning it into more money, lets just give everyone food stamps and a $100/hr minimum wage. That way we can replace the EAS system with service similar on LAX/SFO-NYC, because we will all be rich.
 
b747400erf
Posts: 2724
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:33 am

Re: Proposed Essential Air Service elimination

Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:22 pm

flyingcat wrote:
TransGlobalGold wrote:
Given there's not really much of Amtrak remaining, not sure. I doubt small cities even have stops on Amtrak.


Actually Amtrak has the inverse problem compared to EAS. Many of the short haul regional trains have enough local support such as Chicago, Boston and others. The issue is the long haul train service which has massive cosst such as the Sunset Limited FL-CA, California Zephyr Chicago-SFO

Look at the routes they go straight through conservative regions but those politicians do not want the service to cease. These routes operate at a large loss which are subsidized by high demand regional service. The times are too long, the service is rarely on time and the price is rarely competitive with alternatives.


The American railroad network is a large subsidy to the freight companies. They control the tracks and have the right of way even though the American taxpayers paid for the network in the first place. If American passenger airliners had to always yield to cargo airlines it would be difficult to stay on time and make a profit also. People here are just venting anger with the usual talking points about big government or corrupt politicians and tax payer waste but that is not the case. It feels right and who wants to change their opinion based on facts? Feelings rule the day especially when you can get angry at your money used for taxes.

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