According to CAGW, "the most absurd recipients of EAS subsidies is the Johnstown, Pa., airport, tirelessly defended by the late Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa.), but from which just 18 flights leave each week. Johnstown is only two hours east of Pittsburgh International Airport by car." And, as noted by the Los Angeles Times in 2009, "The Essential Air Service spends as much as thousands per passenger in remote areas ... much of the money provides service to areas with fewer than 30 passengers per day."
There are thousands of programs like this. Each one needs to be exposed as wasteful and unaffordable. The "granny" and "what about the children?" argument should be confronted and shown to be the fraud that it is and a manipulative technique for maintaining the status quo. So should threats to close libraries, as Mayor Christopher Coleman of St. Paul recently suggested might happen without a tax increase. That's diversionary talk designed to switch attention from unnecessary spending.
Liberals have long played political theater by bringing people to Washington with sob stories about their supposed inability to help themselves without government. Conservatives should do the same, but with people who have overcome their dependency on programs and government checks and have been transformed into independent producers. Their stories, the real stories of America, are legion. Their coverage in the media has been miniscule.
So, let the spending cuts begin, but let Republican conservatives demonstrate a better way, which is freedom from addiction to government. The addicted will learn that economic freedom is on a par with political freedom. It begins when federal and state governments start cutting up their "credit cards."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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